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  The  European Union  continues  to  follow with  concern  the situation  in
  Chechnya.  It has noted  with disquiet that fighting is still  going on and
  that serious  human  rights  violations  are  still taking  place,  as  was
  established by the OSCE mission which went to Chechnya.

  The  European  Union refers  to its  Declaration  of 23  January 1995.   It
  intends to  maintain its  vigilance and  keep  up its  endeavours with  the
  Russian authorities for them to:

  .   conclude a humanitarian  ceasefire immediately  with the assistance  of
      the ICRC;

  .   keep to the letter  of the provisions of the  OSCE Code of Conduct  and
      of Additional Protocol No 2 to the 1949 Geneva Convention;

  .   take  the  required  steps  to  guarantee  free  movement  of  aid   to
      populations in need;

  .   open a local office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

  The European  Union urges the parties to begin talks on declaring a lasting
  ceasefire and negotiations for a political solution.

  The European Union  expresses its appreciation  of the mission to  Chechnya
  by the  representative of the OSCE Presidency and  confirms its support for
  the  efforts made  in  that  connection, particularly  with  regard to  the
  dispatch  of further missions  - which must be  in a position  to carry out
  their mandate in  full - on  questions involving human rights,  restoration
  of  constitutional  order  in  accordance  with  international  obligations
  concerning  human rights and  preparations for  free and  fair elections in


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