Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2003-07-02-Speech-3-138"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, one thing of which I am certain, having taken part in this delegation, is that, today, it is completely inappropriate to apply the word ‘peace’ to Chechnya. Three thousand were killed at the start of the year. Forty-nine communal graves have been found, a very small proportion of which can be ascribed to terrorism and a very large proportion of which can be attributed to the abuses perpetrated daily by an army which has established itself as an occupying force. The referendum was an illusion of normality. It is difficult to decree normality in a country by waving the barrel of a . In view of all this, we believe that the political solution must genuinely be a political solution, and for that to be so, Mr Frattini, I put it to you that all the parties need to be involved. The former President, Mr Maskhadov, must take part too, and he cannot be dismissed so hastily, Mr Frattini, as a rebel separatist. Former President, Mr Maskhadov, was elected democratically by the Chechen people at the end of the first war. Today, Mr Maskhadov is an essential point of reference if we want to achieve genuine peace, true peace. There is also a danger that Chechnya will become a permanent war zone where old grievances are superseded by new. One last recommendation to Mr Frattini and to the Commission. We must ensure that Russia is involved in this peace process and that it shoulders its responsibility. If we continue today to talk about the possibility of Russia acceding to the European Union, without considering this ongoing conflict as an element which is already causing difficulties in our relations with Russia, we will certainly not be facilitating the peace process. Apart from being extremely premature, talking about the accession of Russia could be extremely dangerous in terms of the fate of Chechnya."@en1

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