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Russian Federation: High Commissioner mission

Briefing notes

Russian Federation: High Commissioner mission

4 April 2006

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres tomorrow begins an official six-day visit to the Russian Federation. During his mission, Mr. Guterres is scheduled to meet with senior government officials from a number of ministries, including Foreign Affairs, Interior, and the Ministry for Civil Defence, Emergencies and the Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters (EMERCOM) and the Federal Migration Service. He will also meet parliamentarians, NGOs, and members of the UN Country Team. Topics for discussion will include the asylum system, the situation of statelessness, and internal displacement in the Russian Federation.

During his stay, Mr. Guterres will also visit the Northern Caucasus region of the Russian Federation, including the Republics of North Ossetia-Alania, Ingushetia, and the Chechen Republic, where UNHCR is an active participant in the UN humanitarian operation. At the State Duma in Moscow, the High Commissioner will launch a Russian version of a Handbook for Parliamentarians on Nationality and Statelessness, published jointly in 2005 by UNHCR and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

UNHCR established its Office in the Russian Federation in 1992, and has since provided protection and assistance to refugees and internally displaced persons in the Russian Federation amounting to more than US $170 million.