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  Monday, October 21, 2019
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The Council of Europe's human rights commissioner will visit Russia
The Council of Europe's human rights commissioner will visit Russia on January 18-20 to discuss the humanitarian consequences of the conflict in South Ossetia, Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

Thomas Hammarberg is scheduled to meet with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the head of parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, Konstantin Kosachev, Prosecutor General Yury Chaika and other officials.

"The agenda [of the visit] includes a number of issues of cooperation between Russia and the Council of Europe in the sphere of human rights protection, including the situation in the Georgian and South Ossetian conflict zone and measures to eliminate consequences of grave humanitarian consequences of Georgia's military actions," the ministry said in a statement.

Georgia attacked South Ossetia on August 7 in an attempt to regain control over the breakaway republic, which split from Georgia in the early 1990s. In response, Russia launched a military operation to expel Georgian troops from the region, which ended on August 12 with a large Russian presence in undisputed parts of Georgia.

Under a French-brokered peace deal, Russia withdrew its forces from Georgian buffer zones ahead of an October 10 deadline, and the peacekeepers were replaced by a 200-strong EU monitoring mission to Georgia.

Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another separatist Georgian republic, on August 26.


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