OSCE to help end Chechen conflict

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The Independent Online
The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) announced that Moscow had agreed to its active participation in seeking a long-term solution to the Chechen conflict.

In the immediate future, it is to send a fact-finding mission to Chechnya which will investigate, among other things, the extent of human-rights violations. Although the OSCE will not have a mediating role, it aims to assist in the restoration of constitutional law and in paving the way for free and fair elections.

Moscow's decision to allow any sort of OSCE involvement in the conflict was hailed as a breakthrough by the organisation's permanent representatives in Vienna.

"This is the first time that Russia has agreed to an international body playing a role in what is an internal political matter," said a representative of a Western delegation. "The OSCE is not going to go in and broker a peace, but it could help lay downthe guidelines for a lasting political solution."

nBrussels -The European Union is to complain to Russia about its broken promises to keep a ceasefire and start new talks on the future of Chechnya.

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