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    KOSACHEV CALLS ON EU TO ABANDON CHECHNYA CARD

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    MOSCOW, April 9 (RIA Novosti) - The European Union's support of Chechen militants means relaxing the position of the international antiterrorist coalition, Konstantin Kosachev, the chair of the Duma International Affairs Committee, told journalists on Friday.

    He was commenting on the initiative of the EU, which presented a draft resolution condemning Russia's actions in Chechnya at a session of the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva.

    "We would like to call on our colleagues in the parliaments of EU countries to concentrate on joint efforts to oppose the general threat - terrorism - and to abandon these useless attempts to play the Chechnya card to put political pressure on Moscow," he said.

    He noted that Russia would be disappointed and puzzled if such a measure were taken again. "Similar EU sponsored resolutions have not received the approval of the majority of countries in the commission, which is necessary for them to be accepted," he recalled.

    Mr. Kosachev said this was especially the case right now when the situation in Chechnya is better and the motives of the initiators of the measure are not clear. He noted that lately considerable progress in Chechnya has been made: opponents of the Chechen Republic have placed themselves outside the law, presidential elections have been held, and a constitution has been accepted.

    At the same time, Mr. Kosachev said given the obviously illegal nature of the actions of the opponents, they cannot be described as anything but terrorists.

    "Right now, when there is a sharp increase in the treat of terrorism on a global scale, including in the EU, every step that supports the actions of insurgents in one of the basic areas of international terrorist activity - Chechnya - objectively means relaxing the coalition fighting this danger," he said.

    He expressed hope that the measure faces a similar fate to the previous resolutions presented to the UN Human Rights Commission.

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