:Peacekeeping; by Russian Public Chamber and Austrian Ultra-rightwing

On October 20, 2008, a conference :Europe-Russia-Georgia: Peacekeeping; took place in Vienna, Austria. The SOVA Center doesn't monitor events in South Ossetia, but this conference falls into our field of interests, because it was organized by Russian Public Chamber and Free Academy of the Austrian Freedom Party. The Public Chamber of Russian Federation is a formally nongovernmental organization which is to represent civil society to the President of Russia. Its functions and status are not determined. One third of the Chamber members are appointed by the President.

The Russian delegation of the Public Chamber at the conference included Stavropol and Vladikavkaz archbishop Pheophan, Olga Kostina, Maxim Shevchenko.

Undoubtedly, it is necessary to open a dialog between Russian and Georgian societies after the August events (however, it would be reasonable to invite also Ossetian NGOs). And the Public Chamber may take part in such activity.

But we consider as an absolutely inappropriate thing for the Public Chamber, de facto a half-governmental body which considers promotion of tolerance as a part of its agenda, to cooperate with world famous ultra-rightwing populists.