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Russia: Putin Rules Out Talks With 'Murderer' Maskhadov

Moscow, 10 November 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin (pictured) today ruled out talks with rebel Chechen separatist President Aslan Maskhadov, whom he described as a "murderer." Addressing a group of leading pro-Russian Chechen businessmen and religious leaders in the Kremlin, Putin said Maskhadov -- who signed the August 1996 peace treaty with Moscow before going on to be elected Chechen president the following January -- had "opted for terrorism."

Putin also said there would be "no second Khasavyurt," a reference to the 1996 treaty that ended the 1994-96 Chechen conflict.