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    RUSSIAN AND COUNCIL OF EUROPE COOPERATION IN CHECHNYA ADVANCES FURTHER

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    MOSCOW, January 26, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - The Council of Europe experts will no longer stay in Chechnya on permanent basis, Official Spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Aleksander Yakovenko disclosed on Monday.

    In accordance with the program of cooperation the CE experts will be engaged in the fulfillment of certain measures upon the request of the Russian side, he said.

    "The program covers such directions as expertise of the Chechen legislature, development of local self-government, psychological and social rehabilitation of women and orphans, training of staffers of law-enforcement bodies, local police and correctional facilities, holding of seminars for Chechen students on the human rights observance," Mr. Yakovenko said.

    He reminded, that since the June of 2000 the cooperation of Russian and the Council of Europe was based mainly on the permanent presence of the CE experts at the bureau of the Russian President's special envoy on the human rights.

    The drastically changed situation in 2003 in the republic demanded the revision of the experts' mandate, which no longer corresponds with the tasks pending before the Federal and Republican authorities in Chechnya, Mr. Yakovenko noted.

    "Russia had repeatedly drawn attention of the Council of Europe to the necessity of revision of the cooperation forms with the CE in Chechnya," the Official Spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry noted.

    "In this connection one can say that the Russian and CE cooperation reached a higher level - from simple monitoring of the human rights observance to the fulfillment of the real programs concerning the settlement of the peaceful life in Chechnya and assistance to the formation of the republican authoritative bodies and civil society," Mr. Yakovenko said.

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