Official visit of Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe to Moscow, 14-15 February 2005 

Secretary General meets the Russian Foreign Minister

At the end of his official visit to Moscow, Secretary General Terry Davis today had a very constructive and in-depth discussion with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on all issues of interest concerning Russia’s participation in the work of the Council of Europe.

They focussed in particular on the role and mandate of the Council of Europe in the perspective of the organisation’s forthcoming Summit of Heads of State and Government (Warsaw, 16-17 May), and Russia’s chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers in 2006. In this context, the Russian side reiterated its keen interest in the Council of Europe’s activities in the fields of culture, education, and social cohesion.

Other issues discussed included the execution of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, the monitoring of Russia’s commitments, a planned Round Table on Chechnya, the situation of Russian-speakers in the Baltic states, the situation in the southern Caucasus and the Balkans – in particular Kosovo – and the future of Belarus’ relations with the Council of Europe.

Meeting yesterday, the Secretary General, the Ombudsman for the Russian Federation, Vladimir Lukin, the President of the Chechen Republic, Alu Alkhanov, and the Ombudsman for Chechnya, Lema Khasuyev, discussed the follow-up to be given by the Council of Europe to requests for assistance presented last December by the Chechen President and Ombudsman, including assistance to the Ombudsman’s office, the social rehabilitation of women and children, the fight against impunity and the training of law enforcement personnel.

Earlier in the visit, the Secretary General had meetings with Russian Justice Minister Yuri Chaika, the Chairman of the State Duma, Boris Gryzlov, the Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council (upper chamber), Alexander Torshin, the Chairman of the Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee, Mikhail Margelov, the Chairman of the Duma’s International Affairs Committee, Konstantin Kosachev, and members of the Russian delegation to the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly.