HC Deb 16 April 1999 vol 329 cc383-4W
Mrs. Browning

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will report progress on the department's monitoring of the use to which its advice is put by Granger Telecom in respect of their staff working in Chechnya. [81148]

Mr. Tony Lloyd

I refer to my replies of 21 January 1999,Official Report, columns 53–37, and 14 April 1999, Official Report, column 257. Granger Telecom have informed FCO officials that following Granger's meeting with FCO officials on 21 August 1998, Granger management did not re-consult their field staff about their willingness to work in Chechnya. The advice given by the FCO at the meeting was discussed by Granger Telecom directors. Granger Telecom have reaffirmed that they drew to the attention of their field staff the FCO travel advice for Russia which stated: We strongly advise against travel to the Chechen Republic… because of the unstable security situation. Visitors have been kidnapped in these areas recently.

Granger Telecom have confirmed that they now have no staff working in Chechnya, and that they have no intention of sending staff to Chechnya.