Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 17

On April 23, the online daily Lenta.ru reported that the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva had concluded its examination of the issue of Chechnya by adopting a resolution condemning the actions of the Russian federal authorities in the republic. In the resolution, which was supported by twenty-two states, Russia is said to have resorted to a “disproportionate” degree of force. The use of force by Russia against the civilian populace and the participation of the authorities in bringing about the disappearance of people are recognized in the document. A simple majority adopted the resolution. Of the fifty-three participating countries, nineteen abstained, and twelve voted against the resolution. Voting against the resolution and in support of Russia were, inter alia, India, China, Cuba, Libya, Nigeria, Vietnam and Venezuela.

The adoption of the anti-Russian resolution, Lenta.ru went on, was preceded by negotiations between Russia and the European Union “in the course of which they succeeded in agreeing upon a document which suited Moscow.” Russia obligated itself in this agreement to bring about a swift regulation of the situation in Chechnya and to conduct investigations into infringements of human rights in the republic. “However,” the online daily continued, “the adoption of a compromise resolution was broken off by the United States. The position of Washington was, in particular, supported by the countries of Eastern Europe-Latvia, Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic.” The Russian representative to the UN Commission, Oleg Mal’ginov, heatedly declared that those behind the resolution had “de facto offered to support terrorism.” Mal’ginov emphasized that the Russian Federation would not consider itself bound by the new resolution.