"I think it's quite a reasonable step, because these soldiers are no longer involved in active fighting in the Chechen Republic," he said. "In fact, the Defense Ministry has not conducted any military operations on Chechen territory for several years now."
Russia on October 3 began airlifting a 300-strong military-engineering unit to Lebanon to rebuild bridges destroyed in fighting between Israel and Hizballah.
The soldiers will not take part in peacekeeping operations.
The Chechnya Conflict
The aftermath of a December 2002 Chechen resistance attack on the main government building in Grozny (epa)