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    EUROPARLIAMENT SUPPORT OF MASKHADOV'S SETTLEMENT PLAN IS 'MARGINAL' - KOSACHEV

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    MOSCOW, February 5 (RIA Novosti) - The support of Aslan Maskhadov's peace settlement plan in Chechnya by the European parliament is "absolutely marginal," according to Konstantin Kosachev, head of the Duma Foreign Affairs Committee.

    On Wednesday, a number of Europarliament members spoke out in favor of Maskhadov's plan, which includes a UN administration established in that republic, withdrawal of the Russian military and civil forces and disarmament of the Chechen resistance.

    Kosachev made it clear that this initiative in the European parliament was put forth by the Transnational Radical Party.

    "It is aimed at the support of a certain plan, submitted by Maskhadov, which is not even legitimate," Kosachev emphasized.

    He believes that certain Europarliament members supported Maskhadov's plan in a bid to boost their election ratings.

    "This initiative should be regarded as absolutely marginal, negligible from the international law perspective," he added.

    Kosachev reminded those present that another attempt to "throw in" a similar text as a Europarliament resolution in mid-January 2004, but that initiative boiled down to nothing. According to him, it reflected the consolidated Europarliament position on the issue.

    "I think this initiative is largely linked to the upcoming June Europarliament elections," Kosachev said. "I even suspect that those members of the European Parliament were not motivated by a desire to contribute to the peace settlement in Russia's breakaway republic, all the more so since it is Russia's internal business anyway. They are motivated by their own pre-election ratings, that's it."

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