Moscow, 19 August 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russian President Boris Yeltsin said today that he expects a long-term treaty with Chechnya to give a somewhat greater autonomy to Russia's breakaway Caucasus republic. But he stressed again that Chechnya must remain an integral part of the Russian federation.
Speaking at an international air show outside Moscow, Yeltsin reiterated Moscow's position that Chechnya must remain an integral part of the Russian Federation.
Yeltsin also admitted that his talks yesterday with Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov had been tense. Yeltsin and Maskhadov agreed to set up a joint commission to prepare the treaty. Chechnya insists that the treaty recognize its independence while Russia wants a power-sharing agreement like the one it has with the Russian republic of Tatarstan.
Inaugurating the air show earlier today, Yeltsin also said that the hard times for the Russian aircraft manufacturing industry are over.