Putin visit  

17.4.2000

Blair should shelve Putin visit to London

Following the Council of Europe's decision to begin suspension proceedings against Russia, local MP, Edward Davey, today called upon the Prime Minister to shelve the invitation to Vladimir Putin to visit London.

Edward Davey MP said:
"In light of the Council of Europe's decision to begin proceedings for the suspension of Russia due to barbaric behaviour in Chechnya, it would be totally inappropriate for Mr Putin to be received in London.

"Membership of the Council of Europe comes with it the assumption that countries will respect human rights and behave in a humane fashion. All the evidence from Chechnya suggests the opposite.

"Until we are satisfied that the Putin Government is willing to match its human rights words with deeds there should be no question of a visit to London by Putin."

Notes

  • Mary Robinson, UN human rights commissioner, on her recent trip to Russia heard 'serious and documented allegations of murderous rampages, pillaging and looting' by Russian troops in Chechnya. She was denied an audience with Putin. The situation in Chechnya remains volatile.

  • Chechen soldiers recently executed nine Russian POW's when Moscow refused to hand over one of its colonels accused of rape and murder. Meanwhile a US citizen has been arrested on spying charges.

  • The Council of Europe has voted to begin suspension proceedings against Russia for human rights abuses.

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