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Yeltsin Says Security Council Has Adopted Framework Peace Plan

Moscow, March 7 (RFE/RL) Russian President Boris Yeltsin is reported to have said his Security Council has approved the framework of a peace plan for Chechnya.

Interfax news agency quoted Yeltsin as saying the plan involved "achieving stabilization through peaceful means." It said that under the plan the Russian-backed Chechen government would negotiate a settlement with each region in the separatist republic.

Yeltsin said he would give further details of the plan at the end of this month. No other reports of today's meeting have yet emerged.

Earlier this week, officials in Yeltsin's administration told RFE/RL that today's Security Council meeting would discuss two proposals by two different commissions set up by Yeltsin.

The first proposal comes from a commission headed by Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin. His panel includes many hardliners from the military and security services and is believed to favor a tough military solution to the conflict.

The other commission is led by presidential council member Emil Pain and consists of independent politicians and intellectuals who support non-military approaches to Chechnya.

Details of the proposals have not been released, but Yeltsin was believed to have favored a middle ground solution combining elements from both proposals.

On Tuesday, Yeltsin appointed Pain to head a new presidential working group aimed at creating and implementing a solution to the conflict in Chechnya. Russian news agencies quoted presidential spokesman, Sergei Medvedev, as saying Yeltsin ordered his chief of staff Nikolai Yegorov to work with Pain to facilitate the group's work.

Efforts to end the war in the separatist republic have been increased in the run-up to June's presidential elections, where Yeltsin is expected to face stiff competition from the Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov.