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21 Jan, 2010 21:40

Europe's human rights chief praises new Northern Caucasus federal district

Council of Europe human rights official Thomas Hammarberg praised the establishment of the new Northern Caucasus Federal District in Russia and the appointment of a capable leader, Aleksandr Khloponin.

After meeting with Russia's president and foreign minister on Thursday, he also said that it was very important that Khloponin had extensive practice in solving social and economic problems.”

Hammarberg stressed that tackling social and economic problems is just as important for the region's stability as military operations against terrorists.

He also emphasized the need to solve the murder of human rights activist Natalya Estemirova, who was killed in July.