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Chechnya To Open European Offices To Bring Citizens Home

GROZNY -- A Chechen government official says Chechnya will open six offices in Europe, where the largest number of Chechen immigrants live, RFE/RL's North Caucasus Service reports.

Shamsail Saraliyev, Chechnya's minster for external relations, ethnic policy, press, and information, said on September 7 that permission to open the offices was given by Russian Foreign Minster Sergei Lavrov after a request from pro-Moscow Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov.

The offices will be opened in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Poland, France, and Denmark to assist Chechens who want to return home.

There are an estimated 100,000 ethnic Chechens living in Western and Central Europe.

Saraliyev says also that those who want to stay in Europe will get assistance in finding employment, enrolling in universities, or in realizing their legal rights.

No timetable for the opening of the offices was given.