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Udugov Praises Yeltsin for His Ability to Compromise

Moscow, May 28 (RFE/RL) -- Chechen separatist spokesman Movladi Udugov today praised Russian President Boris Yeltsin for his ability to compromise in reaching yesterday's ceasefire agreement.

Movladi Udugov told our correspondent in Moscow that the ceasefire - effective from midnight Friday - proves Yeltsin is sincere about ending the conflict in Chechnya. But he cautioned the next few days would show whether the Kremlin is committed to halting military operations in the Caucasus republic.

Udugov also expressed disapointment that, in his words "the most painful issue" of Chechen independence was not raised at yesterday's talks in Moscow. Yeltsin had ruled out discussing the thorny issue before the talks got underway.

Meanwhile, the Russian military command in Chechnya reports today that Chechen fighters fired on Russian positions twice overnight. There were no reports of casualties or independent confirmation of the Russian military report.

While Yeltsin visits Chechnya, Russian officials and the Chechen delegation, led by Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, continue talks today in Moscow focusing on implementing yesterday's ceasefire agreement.