'Members of the European parliament are not interested in resolving the political and socio-economic situation in Chechnya,' State Duma Speaker Gennady Seleznyov has announced. As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, he said this today while commenting on the results of discussions on the Chechnya issue at the spring session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
PACE is in a world of its own and can not see the progress which is being made in Chechnya,' said Mr Seleznyov. 'Certain members of the European parliament are prejudiced against Russia and this is not helping the peace process in the Chechen Republic. They need a conflict zone which they can visit and build a political career on.'
In Mr Seleznyov's opinion, the results of the recent referendum in Chechnya left PACE members 'very despondent. At the latest session they tried to make Russia soften its denunciation of the Anglo-American attack on Iraq but Russia refused. Then they decided not to discuss the Chechnya issue any more. You can't call it serious politics, it is just blatant political intrigue,' said Mr Seleznyov.
An explosion of household gas occurred in a nine-storeyed apartment building in the city of Shakhty, the Rostov region of Russia. The blast destroyed two storeys of the building