Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 44

Addressing the 9th session of the Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov outlined Russia’s current policy goals toward the OSCE. Summarizing Ivanov’s statement, the pro-presidential wrote: “The problem of double standards is the main stumbling block at the present session. A number of participants at the Bucharest Forum seem to derive pleasure from speaking about human rights in Chechnya but are unwilling to bring up the theme with regard to Latvia or Kosovo. There is much talk about terrorists in Afghanistan, but practically not a word is spoken about organizations that have links with al-Qaida and operate in Chechnya…. The functional and geographical imbalances of OSCE activities are no longer acceptable to Russia, nor are the double standards in relation to the problems of Chechen terrorism and terrorism in other regions of the world” (, December 4). Ivanov’s words appeared to provide added evidence that the OSCE’s small monitoring mission situated in Znamenskoe in northern Chechnya is under a political cloud and could be asked shortly to leave the republic.