Russia underscores the importance of intensifying the role of and increasing the attention by OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Rolf Ekeus in ensuring the observance of the rights of national minorities in Latvia and Estonia. As was reported by the press and information department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, this was stated by Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov during his meeting with Rolf Ekeus the day before.
This is especially important, believes the Russian side, taking into consideration the untimely closing of the OSCE missions in Riga and Tallinn. In the opinion of Moscow, "the situation concerning the human rights in Latvia and Estonia, despite some positive changes, is still far from the international standards and continues to cause concern.
The sides also exchanged views on the position of the national minorities in some CIS member-countries. In particular, as the department pointed out, they touched upon the problems of migration of the Russian-speaking population from Central Asian countries and negative consequences of this process for that region.
Apart from that, Igor Ivanov and Rolf Ekeus discussed the situation in the sphere of interethnic relations as a whole in the area of the OSCE and also the concrete aspects of the further cooperation with the High Commissioner.
During his visit to Moscow on June 17-18, the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities also met with Minister of the Russian Federation Vladimir Zorin and the heads of appropriate committees of the Russian State Duma.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969