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Russia: Moscow Rules Out Truce In Chechnya

Moscow, 14 April 2000 (RFE/RL) - Russia today ruled out any pause or truce in the military campaign in Chechnya. The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that there could be no talk of stopping the military operations when Russia is in "the final phase" of destroying Chechen forces. Russian command said warplanes today continued attacking suspected rebel positions in the southern mountains. The Chechen fighters have been conducting a sustained partisan war from there against Russian forces.

Meanwhile, the head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Austrian Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner, visited the town of Gudermes in eastern Chechnya.

Ferrero-Waldner said during the tour of a Gudermes hospital that the OSCE intends to move its mission from Ingushetia to the Chechen village of Znamenskoye in the Russian-held northwestern part of Chechnya. Moscow has verbally assured OSCE that the mission will be established there, but no agreement has been signed.