New conference on Chechnya to be staged in Denmark

There are plans to hold a one-day Chechnya conference in the building of the Danish parliament on November 22, reports in a RIA telephone interview Ule Stieg Andersen, one of the forum organisers from the Danish committee to support Chechnya. He claims there is no forum programme yet but participants are certain to focus on political settlement in Chechnya and the arrest of Akhmed Zakaev. Among the sponsors of the conference are the Socialist People's Party of Denmark and the so-called international committee in support of Zakaev. The sponsors believe the forum will rally some 100 participants.

The new conference is to take place less then a month after the Copenhagen-based so-called "world Chechen congress" attended by Akhmed Zakaev, an envoy of the Chechen separatists' leader Maskhadov. The meeting was held while Russia was mourning the casualties of the terrorist act in Moscow's theatrical centre on Dubrovka street. It was because of Denmark's position on this question that Russian President Vladimir Putin cancelled his scheduled visit to Copenhagen while the Russia-EU summit was transferred to Brussels.

On October 30, the Danish authorities complied with the request of the Russian side to arrest Zakaev but his extradition to Russia is still in question. He is charged, among other things, with having formed a gang 200-to-1,500-militant-strong which committed acts of terrorism and criminal outrages on the territory of Russia.

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