Chairman of the Ministers' Committee of the Council of Europe, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Antanas Valionis, on Monday will arrive in Russia for an official visit. As the Embassy of Lithuania in Moscow reported, on Tuesday, January 15, Antanas Valionis will conduct negotiations with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, will meet the minister for coordinating the actions of the federal forces in Chechnya, Vladimir Yelagin, human right commissioner Oleg Mironov and the ambassadors of the European Union's countries in Moscow. Apart from that, he will take part in a round-table conference of political scientists and journalists to be held in the Lithuanian Embassy. As is expected, the central themes of the Moscow negotiations will be the intensifying of the role of the Council of Europe in European affairs and the continuation by the Lithuanian chairmanship of the policy towards putting into practice the decisions made at the second summit of the Council of Europe. The decisions related to the creation of a Greater Europe without dividing lines and the observance of human rights and the rights of national minorities on the continent. The Russian side is expected to give Antanas Valionis the possibility of "receiving competent information about the development of the situation in Chechnya - its social and economic restoration, progress in ensuring human rights and the supremacy of the law, and the efforts for a political settlement in the light of the September initiatives of the Russian President." Apart from that, it is envisaged to discuss the position of the Russian-speaking population in Lithuania, the creation of equal, non-discriminatory conditions for the activity of Russian business in that country and urgent bilateral themes.
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