Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 13

Two high-ranking envoys from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Lord Frank Judd of Britain and Rudolf Bindig of Germany, visited Moscow from March 20 to March 22. While their conversations with Russian officials focused on the situation in Chechnya, the two envoys did not visit the republic on this trip. They attended a session of the State Duma at which Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko described efforts being made to restore Chechnya’s economy and to care for Chechen refugees. “No one will force the [refugees] to return to Chechnya,” Khristenko pledged. “We must restore people’s trust in the regional government [of Akhmad Kadyrov]” (Agence France Presse, March 21). Among the officials the two envoys met with were Procurator General Vladimir Ustinov, Justice Minister Yury Chaika, Armed Forces Chief of Staff Anatoly Kvashnin, First Deputy Interior Minister Valery Fedorov and Dmitry Rogozin, the aforementioned chairman of the Duma’s Committee on International Affairs (Itar-Tass, March 20; Nezavisimaya Gazeta, RIA Novosti, March 22).