(CoE) - Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) President RenР№ van der Linden will make a working visit to Moscow from 10 to 12 January 2007.
During his stay, he will have an audience with His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia (12 January) and will meet Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, as well as the Speakers of the State Duma and the Federation Council, Boris Gryzlov and Sergey Mironov (11 January) and the Russian delegation to PACE. Meetings with NGO representatives and the Director of the "Novaya Gazeta" newspaper are also scheduled on Thursday 11 January.
Discussions are expected to focus on the role of the Council of Europe as a unique platform for inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue, relations between Russia and Georgia, Belarus, the role of civil society, the freedom of the media, the investigation into the murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya and the petition on this question by Reporters without Borders, reports Trend.
Other items to be discussed include the need to ratify Protocol No. 14 to the European Convention on Human Rights and the role of the Council of Europe as a pan-European organisation based on common values in building a strategic partnership with Russia.