Council of Europe chief to discuss Russian minorities in Baltics

Novosti Press
September 18, 2007

MOSCOW, September 18 (RIA Novosti) – President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Rene van der Linden will start a visit to Baltic states Tuesday, the official Web site said. During his visit, Van der Linden is expected to discuss the plight of Russian-speaking minorities and the rise of Nazism in the Baltic States.

On September 18 through 21 he will visit Tallinn, Estonia, where he will meet with the country’s president, Toomas Ilves and Foreign Minister Urmas Paet.

From September 21 to 24 he will be in Riga, Latvia and meet with Latvian Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis and the Metropolitan of Riga and all Latvia Alexander.

On September 24 he will meet with Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas and Archibishop of Vilnius Audrys Juozas Backis during his one-day visit to Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.

He will also discuss the role of PACE in protecting common values such as human rights and democracy and enhancing dialogue between cultures and religions in Europe with governmental officials, parliamentary speakers and minority spokesmen from the three countries.