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Press release, 10.04.2000


Vladimir Lukin expects the Duma to ratify the START II Treaty

Deputy Speaker of the State Duma, Vladimir Lukin (the Yabloko faction), thinks that the Duma may already consider the ratification of the Treaty on April 14, 2000.

In an interview Vladimir Lukin noted that, after the forthcoming (in the second half of the day on April 10, 2000) discussion of this issue at an expanded meeting of the Security Council of the RF, the Council of the Duma will try (on the morning of April 11, 2000) to set the date of the plenary meeting of the Duma to discuss the START II Treaty.

Vladimir Lukin stressed that the chances of the Duma’s ratification of the START II Treaty “are high”. He thinks that treaty ratification may be backed by all the factions and deputy groups, except the CPRF and their ally – the Agrarian deputies’ group.

Vladimir Lukin thinks that the LDPR faction will also back this issue. “Most likely, they (LDPR) will try to profit somehow from the issue, in exchange for their support for ratification,” said Vladimir Lukin. He also said that the executive authority would like to ratify the START II Treaty before the visit of the Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Igor Ivanov, to the US at the end of April.

At the same time, Vladimir Lukin noted that the START II Treaty can and must be ratified only simultaneously with ratification of the two Protocols signed in 1997 by the ex-head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Evgeni Primakov and the State Secretary of the US Madeleine Albright.

Vladimir Lukin recalled that one protocol prolongs the implementation terms of the START II Treaty, while the second protocol refers to the differentiation between strategic and non-strategic anti-missile defence systems.

Based on Interfax reports.

Alexander Shishlov thinks that Russia may be sued by the European Court for its actions in Chechnya

A member of the delegation of the State Duma of the Russian Federation in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) from the Yabloko faction Alexander Shishlov thinks that Russia may be sued by the European Court on Human Rights for "Russia's violation of the European Convention on Human Rights in Chechnya ".

He made this statement at a press conference in St Petersburg on April 10, 2000. As is already known, on April 6 PACE passed a resolution condemning Russia's actions in Chechnya.

According to Alexander Shishlov, a number of "small European states have already considered launched legal actions against Russia". Alexander Shishlov thinks that the accusations of the Council of Europe in its "anti-Russian positions" are unjustified and "short-sighted". "The failure of Russia's parliamentary delegation at the PACE session was provoked by the delegation, and the tone of the speeches of the delegation members was aggressive and threatening, which is inadmissible for talks in an international organisation," said Alexander Shishlov.

He also said that the professional level of most of the representatives of the State Duma was "low"; according to Alexander Shishlov "none of them had undergone any school of diplomacy". Shishlov also said that he did not accept that the "leadership of the delegation had planned their actions".

Moreover, he was sure that the "sharp tone of the resolution of PACE that was adopted by a majority of only one vote, was provoked by the behaviour of our delegation". Shishlov also expressed surprise that the representatives of the "Unity" faction of the Duma joined the group of Christian Democrats in PACE (i.e., the leader of the faction Boris Gryzlov), which initiated the issue of suspending Russia's membership in the Council of Europe.

Explaining the refusal of the members of the Yabloko faction to leave the hall with the rest of the Russian delegation, Shishlov stressed that the members of Yabloko had never concealed their attitude to the actions of the federal forces in Chechnya, where there "is no mechanism to protect human rights and the interests of not only civilians, but also the military and police fighting the bandits". "We think that we should attempt to work rather than slam the door," added Shishlov.

Based on Interfax reports.