The USA favors continued work of the OSCE mission in Chechnya.
The George Bush administration intends finding "an acceptable formula" allowing the OSCE to continue "constructive cooperation and important humanitarian assistance" in Chechnya, the US State Department's special representative, Richard Boucher, stated.
The USA believes that the OSCE plays an important part "in protecting human rights and promoting economic development in Chechnya," Boucher pointed out.
The OSCE mission mandate in Chechnya expired on December 31st, 2002.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko earlier said that "not all our partners were ready to give an adequate estimation of the situation and realize new Chechen realities to a full extent." "This resulted in a failure to coordinate a new mandate for the OSCE group by December 31st," he stressed.
Yakovenko also said that "interruption of the OSCE work in Chechnya did not imply an end of our cooperation with the organization in this direction." Moscow is ready to consider other forms of cooperation, for example through such OSCE institutions as the Bureau on Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, Yakovenko pointed out.
The head of the Voronezh region, Alexander Gusev, confirmed the death of Major General Vladimir Zavadsky.