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Russia: Feuding Caucasus Regions Sign Peace Accord

Moscow, 4 September 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Interfax news agency says that the Russian Caucasus republics of North Ossetia and Ingushetia signed a peace accord in Moscow today aimed at ending a bloody territorial dispute.

Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin said the accord, signed by North Ossetian leader Akhsarbek Galazov and Ingush leader Ruslan Aushev, was a historic move and a great victory.

There were no immediate details on the contents of the accord. However, Galazov said the treaty by itself does not mean anything. Much work is necessary to implement every article.

The two tiny ethnic republics, which are near the breakaway republic of Chechnya, fought a brief war over a strip of territory in 1992, resulting in hundreds killed and tens of thousands of Ingush becoming refugees.

Since then, the refugees have had trouble returning and there have been frequent violent incidents between the two sides.