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    STATE DUMA DEPUTIES EXPRESS DISSATISFACTION WITH GERMAN PARLIAMENT'S RECEPTION OF ZAKAYEV

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    MOSCOW, February 4, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Deputies of the State Duma (Lower Chamber) condemned their German colleagues in connection with the German Parliament's reception of Chechen emissary Akhmed Zakayev.

    First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma committee on foreign affairs Yuly Kvitsinsky met on Wednesday with FRG Foreign Ministry coordinator on public affairs with Russia, Vice-Chairman of Bundestag SPD faction, Gernot Erler.

    In the course of the meeting with the German guest Kvitsinsky expressed his dissatisfaction with the German Parliament's reception given to Zakayev, he told journalists. "We consider him a criminal," Kvitsinsky stressed. "If they want to speak with Zakayev about Chechnya, then all the rest questions should be dealt with him as well. However, if the German part wants to speak about Chechnya with Russia, they will have to forget about Zakayev," Kvitsinsky said.

    According to Kvitsinsky, Gernot Erler assured him that Zakayev's visit was of no particular importance for Germany and "the German society didn't turn its attention to his visit." "Zakayev's visit was held upon the private invitation of the two Bundestag deputies," Gernot Erler disclosed to a RIA Novosti correspondent. At the same time, he mentioned that German deputies have a right to make private invitations.

    "In the course of the meeting with my Russian colleague I told him that no official meetings were held and no official statements were made during Zakayev's visit," Gernot Erler said.

    Following the short dramatization of the Zakayev's visit to Germany by the Russian part, the dialogue between our countries has regained its positive level, Gernot Erler underlined.

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