Verslag eerste bezoek Bart Staes aan Russische Federatie 14-17 april 2002

[468447EN.doc] PE 318.182

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

EU-RUSSIA PARLIAMENTARY COOPERATION

COMMITTEE

WORKING GROUP

14 – 17 April 2002

MOSCOW AND SAMARA

SUMMARY RECORD

Bart STAES, Chairman

________

30 April 2002

EUR/SP/TB/cs

[468447EN.doc] PE 318.182 2

Moscow

Sunday, 14 April 2002

14h00 Meeting with Mr SAMODUROV, Director of Sakharov Museum

and visit of Sakharov Museum

Mr Samodurov outlined the work of the Museum, which continues the work of Andrei

Sakharov. In particular the funding problems of the museum were discussed.

16h00 Staff meeting

19h00 Meetings with NGOs (arranged by the EU Commission delegation office in

Moscow)

The delegation met Svetlana Alekseevna GANNUSHKINA, Human Rights Centre ‘Memorial’;

Oleg Petrovich ORLOV, Human Rights Centre ‘Memorial’; Aleksandr Konstaninovich

NIKITIN, Ecological Centre ‘Bellona’; Philippe Royan, ECHO and Boris PANTELEYEV,

Russian Union of Journalists, Centre for Journalism in Extreme Situations.

Giving an overview of the activities of ECHO in Chechnya, acting for the EU, the biggest single

cash donor in the region, Mr ROYAN described the difficulties of operating out of Moscow

with local staff on the spot and access of expatriate experts and workers still extremely difficult.

He underlined the need for those experts in the field to have the possibility of supervising and

controlling their operations, and having access to radio equipment and frequencies to build up

communications. He also raised the problem of not having a VAT exception for foodstuff and

aid being delivered to refugee camps, and the administrative obstacles encountered with the

importation of medical help/all pharmaceuticals.

Referring to a request by Lord BETHELL to explain to the delegation their perception of the

role of President Putin, and to questions by Mr PAASILINNA and Mr KRONBERGER, Mrs

GANNUSHKINA commented on the situation of migration in the Russian Federation. Mr

ORLOV described the new vertical structure of power being established by the Kremlin, and

described the situation in Chechnya as a guerrilla war. It could end either in victory or in

dialogue. Victory now was impossible since it would mean genocide. He therefore

recommended a cease-fire as a first step to stop the violence, followed by talks with all political

groups in Chechnya.

Mr NIKITIN underlined the need for finding a solution for Chechnya by means of general

elections, and commented on the different cases of environmentalists harassed by legal actions

based on secret presidential decrees, in particular the Plasko case. He characterised the Putin

administration as streamlining the government to economic success and stability, without much

concern for constitutional, environmental, or human rights issues.

Mr PANTALEYEV raised the free speech issue, as being guaranteed by the Russian

constitution, but not existing in reality. Mrs GANNUSHKINA raised the matter of racism.

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On the Chairman's request of the Parliament’s proposal of sending a delegation to Chechnya, the

NGOs agreed the possibility and in particular the usefulness and political need of such a visit in

the Northern Caucasus. They insisted that any progress in the field of human rights was due to

NGO and international pressure, as for example Presidential Order 80 about the identifiability of

security forces when intervening in mopping up operations. This came as a result of such a

combined effort, after two and a half years, and still is only respected in about 30 % of

operations. The NGOs considered that the Chechen State Duma member Askachanov was trying

to do his best but was helpless.

Monday, 15 April 2002

8h30-9h30 Briefing by the Spanish Ambassador to the Russian Federation,

representing the Presidency of the European Union, together with other

EU-Ambassadors

The increased political stability and economic recovery of Russia were stressed - although

President Putin had stated that there should be economic growth of 5-6% rather than the

government forecast of 3-4%. Important legislative reforms were being enacted. The EU's goal

was to have a stable and democratic Russia that was integrated into a common European space

with regulatory convergence between the two. At present the EU represented 35% of Russia's

trade and this would increase to 50% after enlargement.

The government was actively concentrating on legislation to promote small and medium

enterprises, which were currently 800,000 in number, representing 14% of GDP. There had been

a radical proposal to abolish all taxes for them except an overall tax of 8% on turnover or 20%

on profits.

The present Duma was elected in December 1999. The Kremlin had been able to operate with

the support of a centre left or centre right majority. The pro-Kremlin majority had deprived the

Communists of control over the Duma secretariat although the Communist President of

Parliament Mr Seleznyov had decided to retain his position (and privileges!)

The bureaucracy remained a problem, as there were as vast numbers of officials who had the

same mentality as in Soviet times and were operating to the same rules as had existed in that

period.

The EU-Russia energy dialogue, which had begun in October 2000, was moving into a more

concrete phase. The Russian population was afraid of increased gas and electricity prices, which

were currently artificially low and should be two to three times higher. However this would

cause severe social problems, particularly as the income of Russian citizens had not increased

between 1999 and 2001 despite the economic growth.

President Putin had struck a bargain with the oligarchs that he would not examine too closely

how they had made their money. In return they would not interfere in politics. Only the press

barons Guzinsky and Berezovsky had not accepted this.

Russia saw Kaliningrad as a test case for EU-Russia relations and its attention was focussed on

the visa issue. Moscow was coming forward with concrete proposals in defence and common

security issues, including de-mining in Afghanistan and help in the fight against organised

crime. There was also cooperation on nuclear safety. EU assistance to Russia via TACIS

amounted to EUR 2.4bn over ten years.

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Fighting in Chechnya was largely "hit and run" operations. There was a problem of lawlessness

among the Russian military, which was often unpaid and forced to live off the land. This had

prompted moves to sharpen discipline. The Russian government claimed that Russian troops

were not trained to fight in conflicts such as the current one. Russian-Chechen contacts were not

progressing, particularly as it was unclear who could deliver a deal on the Chechen side.

Military reform was a key issue with 50 million people dependent on the military. There were

attempts to persuade officers to accept higher salaries in return for obliging them to pay taxes

and lose other privileges.

10h00-11h00 Meeting with Mr PATRUSHEV, Director of the Federal Security Service

(FSB)

Venue: 1/3 Lubyanka Street, (Members only)

The delegation met Mr Patrushev accompanied by Alexander ZHDANKOV, Deputy Director;

Aleksei KUSURA, Michail SHEKIN, Andrei YEGOROV, Ella MALTSEVA, all FSB together

with Vladimir LUKIN, Alexander BELOUSOV, Said ZABITOV, State Duma.

FSB Director PATRUSHEV opened the meeting by referring to the EP resolution of 10 April

2002, and with a lengthy introduction covering FSB achievements in re-establishing internal

security in the North Caucasus region. Commenting on the not overall satisfying international

co-operation with FBI, CIA and MI6 since 11 September 2001, where according to him “double

standards” still prevailed, he referred to the international Working Group under the Command of

General Kusurov, set up to co-ordinate the fight against terrorism. Director Patrushev listed the

number of hospitals, schools, and other public institutions, which have been reopened recently.

Their functioning was proof of a normalisation of civil life in Chechnya. The economic

situation had also been stabilised since the oil wells fires had been extinguished, and now 60

wells were functioning and the economic structure had been restored, including public transport.

He described the enemy structure as “bandit hit and run operation” without strategic back up

structure.

Mr PATRUSHEV also referred to the disciplinary problems of troops, a phenomenon, which

could be encountered all over the Russian Federation according to him. He indicates that

measures were now being taken by the Military Prosecution Office, and that in 33 cases

sentences had been passed. District courts had been re-established, and more and more locally

staffed border police were in charge of the permanent checks. Director PATRUSHEV insisted

that the rule of law was about to be restored, and that general elections should follow to create

the necessary institutions and authorities and thus stabilise the region further.

Lord BETHELL put a question concerning the three individual Human Rights cases of the

imprisonment of Mr Titov (MTV), Mr. Obuchov (6 years of imprisonment for espionage) and of

Mr. Pasko (environmentalist publisher). Even though he saw these cases as not being within the

scope of the meeting, Mr PATRUSHEV commented on the co-operation of secret services and

the nevertheless unavoidable counterespionage operations, and responded in detail to the three

cases, going into the legal and procedural arguments and justifications.

There were questions of Mr PAASILINNA on the differences between fighter groups in

Chechnya and of Mr OOSTLANDER concerning the issue of restoring the rule of law and

military discipline in Chechnya. Mr PATRUSHEV answered in a cursory general manner.

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To Chairman STAES’s insistence on the feasibility of sending a parliamentary delegation to

Chechnya and on admitting better technical facilities for ECHO operations in the field, namely

better access to the territory and access to radio communications, Mr PATRUSHEV did not

express any particular opposition in his concluding remarks.

11h00 Meeting with Mr Sergey RAZOV, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister

Venue: 32/34 Smolenskaya-Sennaya Square

Mr RAZOV stressed that Russia's priority was cooperation with the EU - particularly in areas

such as crisis management, the struggle against terrorism and fighting crime. He supported the

idea of an "Internal Security Council" between EU and Russia.

He believed that the problem of Kaliningrad could be aggravated by enlargement, which would

impact severely on the lives of one million people. This was a problem that was common to both

sides. He favoured policy of no visas for travel and transit. He considered that it would be naive

to see Kaliningrad as either a "Russian Hong Kong" or as an "unsinkable aircraft carrier". He

noted that two thirds of the armed forces in Kaliningrad had gone and the remainder had been

withdrawn into the interior of the territory.

He considered that a "one sided expansion" by the USA of the number of anti-terrorist targets -

such as Iraq - could lead to a crisis in the global anti-terror coalition. He stressed that the

Afghanistan operation was not complete. He warned that anti-American sentiments were

growing among the Russian public, as a result of its withdrawal from the ABM Treaty and its

Middle East policy. He stressed that Russia was a Eurasian power - the "Russian eagle looks

both ways" - with a multipolar focus. The prospect of summits with China and India was being

examined.

The situation in Chechnya was uneasy and he considered that the EU should show more

understanding of the Russian position. It was a question of safeguarding the territorial integrity

of Russia. Intercepts of Chechen communications by Russian intelligence showed the

ruthlessness of Chechen fighters and their "masters abroad". He agreed to report the problem of

ECHO funded organisations in Chechnya which were not permitted to have access to radio

frequencies.

Mr RAZOV did not object to the sending of an ad-hoc delegation to Chechnya.

13h00 Lunch hosted by Mr Vladimir LUKIN, Vice-Chairman of the State Duma

Venue: State Duma, 1,Okhotny Ryad Street

15.00- Meeting of the PCC working group in the Duma

17.00 Venue: State Duma, 1,Okhotny Ryad Street

Members of the Duma Delegation: Vladimir P. LUKIN, Co-chairman; Alexander N.

BELOUSOV, Valery G. DRAGANOV, Irina M. KHAKAMADA, Vera A. LEKAREVA,

Lyubov N. SHVETS, Leonid E. SLUTSKY

Members of the Federation Council: Alexander EVSTIFEEV, Valentina PETRENKO, Rafgat

ALTYNBAEV, Leonid ROKETSKY, Alexander DONDUKOV, Pavel FEDIRKO

Chechnya

For the EU side the Chairman stressed that the resolution adopted in the European Parliament

the previous week reaffirmed its view that there was no military way to resolve the situation. It

stressed too that human rights were one and indivisible and that all perpetrators of abuses should

be brought to justice and proposed to create a joint working group to monitor the situation and

that there should also be an ad hoc delegation to Chechnya. There should be access to

[468447EN.doc] PE 318.182 6

frequencies for radio communications of humanitarian agencies. It was also important that the

EU's EUR 65m aid was spent in the correct way. It wanted more information from the Russian

side on the situation, as MEPs were already getting information from bodies such as Amnesty

International, Médecins sans Frontières and Human Rights Watch. It was also stressed that both

sides did "terrible" things.

The Russian side stressed that an ad hoc delegation of the European Parliament could make a

visit to Chechnya - possibly in the form of a joint visit with other bodies. Parliament had based

its resolution on groups with inadequate or outdated information. The question of a joint

working group was more problematic, as such a body already existed in conjunction with the

Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly. Agreeing to such a proposal might open the way

similar groups from many other institutions.

The work being undertaken under ECHO was respected and the Russian authorities would seek

to cooperate with the humanitarian organisations. However their use of radio communications

helped Chechen fighters to intercept Russian communications - this problem needed to be

solved.

It underlined that humanitarian work was being carried out - for example dormitories were open

in Grozny for accommodating refugees. Over 100,000 people had returned to the republic.

Crimes committed by the Russian forces were being investigated, although the Prosecutor's

Office needed to work faster. A consultative group for discussing solutions - including a

constitution - had been approved. Within this group all political forces were represented,

including the "so-called opposition". Help from European organisations would be welcome in

this area. Chechnya was an integral part of the Russian Federation and parliamentary elections

could be held in two to three years. The Russian State Duma had helped to promote a

settlement.

Middle East

The Russian side stated that it understood the EU's position on the Middle East, with which it

broadly agreed. It stressed the need for the Palestinian people to have their own state and for

Israel to enjoy security. There was a need for a cease-fire, intensive talks, Israeli withdrawal

from the occupied territories and the sending of an international police force. The EU side

stressed that the Union should seek to speak as far as possible with one voice and that it should

avoid being simply a satellite of the USA. Russia and the EU should work together on issues

such as the Middle East.

Russia-NATO co-operation

The Russian side stated that Russia would not become a NATO member but there was a need to

build new machinery for Russia-NATO cooperation on the basis of equality - a NATO-Russia

Council that would discuss issues such as peacekeeping missions and fighting terrorism, sharing

intelligence and monitoring weapons of mass destruction.

Enlargement

The EU side stressed that enlargement would help to promote order and stability in Europe and

it was important that there should not be any new walls across the continent. A trans-border

element was therefore desirable. Kaliningrad was a tiny part of Russia but was an area where the

EU and Russia could co-operate.

Energy dialogue

The EU side stressed that the October summit in Paris would provide an opportunity to examine

the energy dialogue, which represented a positive development that paralleled the political

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dialogue. It was noted that the role of Russian gas exports to the EU was increasing, although

electricity exports were still limited. The EU needed Russia as a secure and reliable supplier but

the rules of fair competition had to prevail. Key issues included the importance of ensuring

physical security; having long term supply contracts; a new transport infrastructure, a

reinforcement of cooperation in energy science and technology; study into possibilities for

energy saving and renewable energy. Russia and the EU were interdependent as supplier and

consumer. Any energy policy should abandon the "over-optimistic" production figures put

forward by energy companies.

The Russian side agreed that energy dependence would grow as a result of globalisation.

Political partnership in the energy field was also important, in view of Russia's future

membership of the WTO. Problems in the ratification of the Energy Charter were highlighted,

such as the absence of a mechanism for fighting unlawful acts. There was a need to intensify the

dialogue. If these problems could be overcome there was great potential for energy cooperation.

Russia was doing a great deal to enable it to join the WTO - at present 91% of its commercial

activity was covered by the WTO.

Media

The EU side was unhappy at restrictions on a free press, with the closure of TV channels amid

claims that the owners had not paid tax. This was a great loss as the growth of a free media had

been one of the great achievements at the end of the USSR.

The Russian side stressed that freedom of the press existed but that it was not institutionalised.

At an international conference it had been agreed that the legal framework for the media needed

to be changed to attract private investors. There were indications that Messrs Berezovsky and

Guzinsky used their media outlets for their own purposes and the EU should not concentrate

solely on these two cases. Freedom of the press was harder to secure at regional level where

there were fewer safeguards and it was difficult to struggle against regional Governors.

17h30 Leave to the airport

19h05 Flight to Samara via flight E5 749

Tuesday, 16 April 2002

Samara

09h30 Visit of the joint-venture company “Eurotekhnika”

The delegation visited the joint German-Russian project JSC "Eurotekhnika" which was

founded in 1998 to provide the Samara region and other Russian regions with high quality

agricultural machinery which meets European requirements.

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11h00 Meeting with V.F. SAZONOV, Chairman of Samara oblast regional Duma

Venue: Samara regional Administration Building

Participants: V.F. SAZONOV, A. BELOUSOV, O.B. DYACHENKO, N.F. MUSATKIN, V.M.

BRYZGALOV, S.N. MATVEEV, S.N. SAVELIEV

MEPs were given an introduction to the work of the regional Duma.

The current Duma was elected in December 2001. It has 25 members and six committees. Its

main task at present is the development of a legal framework for social and economic reforms.

There is good cooperation with the executive and the regional governor. Representatives were

required to work in their constituencies every Wednesday.

A council of representatives exists to bring together the different levels of elected bodies in the

region. On 18-19 April the first workshop would be held with the participation of local

government representatives. This was a means of getting acquainted with the concerns of local

people. In addition an Expert Council would be set up including researchers and representatives

of NGOs.

The adoption of a budget law was another major issue. There is the proposal of establishing a

Standing Conciliation Committee to take into account the various needs of the Samara region.

Samara's budget was 15 billion roubles per year making it a donor region in the Russian

Federation (one of only twelve out of 89 regions). It received no subsidies from central

government and, indeed, 45% of its revenue went to Moscow. Its traditional sources of revenue

were income tax and purchase tax. The national Duma determined the balance between federal

and regional taxes and the regional Duma determined the balance between regional and local

taxes. Its major sources of wealth included car manufacturing and the petro-chemical industry.

In order to allow members more chance to keep their electoral promises it was felt that they

should have more power and the opportunity to cooperate with the executive branch. However

at present there was no federal law to deal with this issue. There were areas of shared

competence and it was therefore important for the national Duma to hear from the regional

Dumas. The Samara Duma had a special agreement with Moscow whereby it undertook to

inform the centre of its activities.

The creation of the seven "super" federal districts is the first step towards the reform of public

administration. The federal authorities would examine the EU experience in this matter.

Samara region was economically attractive to investors. The EU absorbed 32% of its trade and

there were joint ventures with western companies such as Coca Cola. There had been around 20

TACIS projects. There was awareness of environmental concerns - a draft law on the protection

of water resources in the region would be adopted in plenary. A Solid Waste Processing plant

was also being built to deal with the problem of household waste. There were plans to build

more such plants.

The European Parliament side stressed the importance of holding meetings outside Moscow. It

noted that the most comprehensive land law in the country had been passed by the Samara

Duma and that the region had one of the lowest rates of unemployment in Russia.

The issue of female representation at decision-making levels was raised and stress was laid on

the benefits that could be derived from studying the progressive approach of the Scandinavian

administrations in this respect. In Finland, for example, there were quotas for men as well as

women.

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The Russians noted that women made up more than 50% of the Duma secretariat, over 70% of

the representation in education and 50% in "decision making" positions. Women also held 15

out of 50 places on the Expert Council. The concept of quotas was, however, rejected. 23 out of

25 Duma representatives were men, nevertheless this was a result of history. The Communists

had introduced quotas for different groups - however this had been a "totalitarian" society.

12h30 Lunch hosted by Samara regional Duma

14h00 Visit to Tacis funded projects in Samara

Department for Social Protection

The department had a large number of staff, however - despite criticism - it actually needed

more personnel. At present there were 17.000 social workers, of whom 87% were women.

Payments had been centralised for 20 years, unlike other regions where the centralised system

had been dismantled. The system had been maintained in Samara because of the personal

position of the governor.

The department had borrowed from European experience through the TACIS programme, by

means of which the United Kingdom, France and Spain had sent experts since 1996. More than

100 staff had been able to study in these three countries and also in some Nordic countries. This

had led to the formation of an association of social workers and an agreement between Samara

and Norfolk Country Council and western universities. There was also a pilot project of social

workers' training centre. The benefits of the cooperation programme had been two-way, with the

western partners benefiting as well. The TACIS programme had led to an increased emphasis on

identification of needs, without which the region would not have had the technical means for

rehabilitation. The help received through TACIS was advertised in such ways as stickers on

wheelchairs. A total of 1,300 staff had been able to train under the TACIS programme.

Work was underway to develop a legal framework to protect the population, especially the

vulnerable sectors. A major problem was that in many cases laws adopted on the eve of an

election campaign were never implemented. Consequently Samara had been obliged to adopt its

own regional laws which aimed to complement federal legislation. One priority here was people

with disabilities and those in need of rehabilitation. There were 212,000 disabled people in the

region and this had led to the development of a partnership with private institutions. A

neurological centre had been inaugurated five months ago which had been co-founded by the

regional administration and a share holding company, including the municipal airport which had

provided six million roubles.

Old people's centre - Samara

Each of the 47 districts in Samara had its own daycare centre, which made it possible to reach

50% of the total population of pensioners. All services including meals in the centre were

provided free at the budgetary expense of about 1 Dollar head/day. The pensioners were able to

engage in cultural activities such as music and other activities such as handicrafts. There was

also a library and a chapel.

Health Care Centre

There were 16.000 GPs in the region, of whom 600 worked in Samara. The centre had been set

up in October 1997 with support from TACIS and the British Department for International

Development. The centre covered a population of 12,800. The specialists were located in a

"polyclinic" that was situated three kilometres away. Currently there were seven GPs - there

should be eight - a figure of one doctor for 1,800 people. 60% of nurses were certified - i.e. they

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had completed postgraduate studies and had several years' experience. Two nurses had qualified

under the TACIS programme in Ireland.

18h00 Classical music concert at Samara philharmonic society

Venue: Samara Philharmonic Society

20h30 Dinner hosted by the Governor of Samara region

Venue: GuestHouse of Samara regional Administration

Wednesday, 17 April 2002

09h30 Meeting Mr K.A. TITOV, Governor of the Samara area

Venue: GuestHouse of Samara regional Administration

Participants: K.A. TITOV, A. BELOUSOV, V. SAZONOV, A.KHASAEV, P. KOROLEV, S.

SAVELIEV, E. HANZHIN, E. MERKULOVA

Mr TITOV stressed that the implementation of the TACIS programmes had made a great

difference to the development of the region - "the EU had not spent its money in vain".

He wanted in particular to develop an effective system for granting mortgages in the region.

This would enable people to apply for real estate loans and then buy their own housing. There

should be training of managers to run real estate funds. He considered too that a law should be

prepared on real estate loans.

Mr TITOV wanted the quality of housing in Russia to be equal to that in the EU. It was

inevitable that tariffs for services would increase. Municipal agencies owned and operated

everything but people often paid for things that they did not use, such as hot water in summer.

There were no metering devices for water and there was a normative value of 280 litres per day

per person.

The EU side noted that the Samara region had one of the most extensive land laws in the

country and one of the lowest levels of unemployment. It was pointed out that housing in the

Netherlands for lower income groups was sometimes managed through the support of trade

unions. It was also possible to rent a house and receive subsidies on the rent. This could have

disadvantages, as it was preferable to have a social mix in a district. The poverty trap also came

into play as people could earn more from subsidies than from working. It was important to

ensure that they did not lose all their benefits when they started to earn more. In addition, the

organisation of the settlement of the land represented the oldest form of democracy in the

Netherlands. Farmers should be given the opportunity to buy their land. However it was also

pointed out that housing policy is the responsibility of member states and not the EU. A study

visit for Mr Titov to member states could be arranged.

10h30 Departure to Togliatti city

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Togliatti

11h30 Meeting with Mr Nicolay UTKIN, Mayor and City Council

Venue: 4, Svoboda Sg.

Mr UTKIN noted that Togliatti provided 65% of the Samara regional budget and produced 85%

of the exports of the region. It had a population of 730.000 with an average age of 34 years,

living in three administrative districts. It had never been a "closed" city and had not been

involved in the defence industry. Many foreigners had lived there and the changes of the past 15

years had not created the problems that they had done elsewhere in Russia.

There were two legal personalities in the city - the city mayor-in-office and the city Duma. In

Togliatti the city mayor was not the same person as the chair of the Duma - unlike the situation

in the city of Samara. The Duma could sometimes create difficulties but it was important to

have a system of checks and balances.

There had been support from the TACIS programme and also the United Kingdom's "Know

How Fund". Successful cooperation had taken place with the Netherlands on dairy farms. A

"Britain in Russia" exhibition had attracted 150 companies and a similar exercise - "Finland in

Russia" -would take place shortly. Lessons had been learned on loans to businesses and the

authorities now only provided loans in cases where the business had already raised some money.

In the past some individuals had taken the loans and not carried out their obligations to start up a

business.

The number of people on benefits was lower than the national average. There was a municipal

system of social support - for example 70 veterans had been provided with apartments. Support

was also provided for recreational facilities.

The quality of rubber produced was better than that produced in the USA - white rubber rather

than grey rubber. 90% of rubber was exported. Recycling of used tyres would also be taking

place, based on the example that Mr Utkin had seen in Amiens in France.

The city had celebrated its 170th anniversary. It had previously been known as Stavropol,

however in a referendum the population had voted to retain the name of "Togliatti", although

many had no idea who Mr Togliatti had been.

13h00 Lunch hosted by the City of Togliatti

14h45 Meeting with Mr Alexander DROBOTOV, Chairman of Municipal Duma

Venue: 4, Central square

Mr Drobotov stated that Togliatti had implemented a "classic" scheme of local government that

was fully in line with the Council of Europe Charter on Self-Government. There was an elected

mayor and 17 members were elected in 17 constituencies. This provided checks and balances.

Three were not many TACIS projects in the city, although the authorities would be happy to

have more, particularly in fields such as urban transportation and educational development. The

municipal budget was insufficient to host all the projects. However, TACIS had helped the

development of a wholesale market.

Work was underway to promote a healthy lifestyle among the town's citizens. Drug prevention

programmes were underway and best practice would be disseminated.

15h45 Leave for Samara airport

17h25 Departure of flight E5 750 to Moscow with connection flights to Europe

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Annex I

PRESS RELEASE

European Parliament Delegation to visit Chechnya?

Samara, 16 April 2002. This week MEPs have been in Russia meeting with their counterparts

in the Russian DUMA (Parliament). The meeting is the parliamentary element of the Partnership

and Cooperation Agreement, which regulates relations between the EU and Russia. Parliament's

delegation was led by its chairman Bart STAES (Green-EFA, Flanders).

The visit came a few days after the European Parliament resolution on Chechnya. It therefore

gave MEPs an early opportunity to discuss the issue with their Russian counterparts and to

underline the call in the resolution for the creation of an ad hoc European Parliament delegation

to visit the Northern Caucasus region. This delegation would discuss with he Russian authorities

and Chechen representatives all issues relating to the current conflict. The Russian

parliamentarians -although they were critical of the resolution- responded positively to this

request, declaring that they were "open for such a visit" and will assist in the preparation.

The first ever meeting of an EP delegation also took place with Sergey PATRUSHEV, Director

General of the FSB (the former KGB). The delegation raised the case of Grigory PASKO - a

journalist who has been imprisoned for passing on publicly available information on the

environmental problems arising from the Russian nuclear fleet. Furthermore the discussion

concentrated on the sending of a joint EP-Russian delegation Duma delegation to Chechnya on

humanitarian and human rights issues. Mr PATRUSHEV did not oppose in principle sending

such an ad hoc delegation.

Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey RAZOV agreed to recommend to the presidential

administration that it should find a solution for the logistical problems of the ECHO

humanitarian aid programme -which amounts to 65 Mio EUR since the start of the current

conflict in 1999 - particularly their lack of access to VHF radio communications. MEPs stressed

too the need for monitoring by international staff in order to ensure that aid reaches its target

groups.

MEPs had the opportunity to press home other key messages of the EP Resolution, which

emphasises that there is no military way to solve the problems in Chechnya and calls on all

parties involved to seek an immediate cease-fire and a political solution to the conflict. It also

underlines that human rights are one and indivisible and that all perpetrators of abuses should be

brought to justice.

The delegation also travelled to the Samara region. MEPs had chosen this region for its

progressive stance on economic and social issues. They met with the Samara Duma, the Samara

Governor TITOV and visited projects funded by the TACIS programme. Discussions with the

regional Duma focused on the relations between federal and regional level, economic and social

challenges as well as gender issues. The delegation was very well received by their hosts and

appreciated the added insides they got into the everyday live in a Russian region.

In Moscow MEPs also visited the Sakharov Museum which perpetuates the work of the human

rights campaigner Andrei Sakharov, inspiration for the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize.

MEPs:

Bart STAES (Greens/EFA)+32 475 37757 bstaes@europarl.eu.int

Nicholas BETHELL (EPP) nbethell@europarl.eu.int

Reino PAASILINNA (PES) rpaasillinna@europarl.eu.int

Arie OOSTLANDER (EPP) aoostlander@europarl.eu.int

Lissy GRÖNER (PES) lgroener@europarl.eu.int

Paavo VÄYRYNEN (ELDR) pvayrynen@europarl.eu.int

Hans KRONBERGER (Non-attached) hkronberger@europarl.eu.int

[468447EN.doc] PE 318.182 13

AnnexII

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

EU-RUSSIA PARLIAMENTARY COOPERATION COMMITTEE

WORKING GROUP VISIT TO RUSSIA

MOSCOW – SAMARA

14 – 17 April 2002

LIST OF PARTICIPANTS

Members:

Mr Bart STAES

Chairman

Verts/ALE, Belgium Budgetary Control

Lord Nicholas BETHELL

1st Vice-Chair

PPE-DE, United Kingdom Citizens’ Freedoms and Rights, Justice

and Home Affairs

Mr Reino PAASILINNA

2nd Vice-Chair

PSE, Finland Industry, External Trade, Research and

Energy

Ms Lissy GRÖNER PSE, Germany Culture, Youth, Education, the Media and

Sport;

Women's Rights and Equal Opportunities

Mr Hans KRONBERGER NI, Austria Environment, Public Health and

Consumer Policy

Mr Arie OOSTLANDER PPE-DE, Netherlands Foreign Affairs, Human Rights,

Common Security and Defence Policy

Mr Paavo VÄYRYNEN ELDR, Finland Foreign Affairs, Human Rights,

Common Security and Defence Policy

Secretariat of the delegation:

Mr Stefan PFITZNER, Administrator responsible for the relations with Russia

Mr Timothy BODEN, Administrator

Mr Raymond HERDIES, Administrative Assistant

Ms Claudia SIEGISMUND, Administrative Secretary

European Commission:

Mr Reinhold HACK, Principal Administrator

Mr Tim SPENCE, Commission Delegation Moscow

Secretariat of the political groups:

Ms Kirsten LÜDDECKE, Group of the Party of European Socialists

Mr Paolo BERGAMASCHI, Group of Greens, European Free Alliance

Interpreters:

Mr Juri LYSSENKO German / Russian

Mr Nikolai ZAITSEV Russian / English

Mr NIKITIN English / French / German

Abbreviations :

PPE-DE European People's Party/European Democrats

PSE Party of European Socialists

ELDR Liberal, Democrat and Reform Party

Verts/ALE Greens/European Free Alliance

GUE/NGL European United Left/Nordic Green Left

NI Non-attached

GroenDe enige partij die sociaal én milieuvriendelijk is.

www.groen.be

De Groenen/EVAGroenen en Europese Vrije Alliantie in het Europees Parlement.

www.greens-efa.eu

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