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Yeltsin Issues Decree On Political Status Of Chechnya

Moscow, May 29 (RFE/RL) - Russian news agencies report that President Boris Yeltsin has issued a decree on a draft document setting out the future political status of Chechnya. Itar Tass and Interfax, which received copies of the draft document today, quoted it as saying the republic would have the status of "a sovereign, democratic, law-governed social state" within the Russian Federation.

The proposal grants Chechnya broad powers of self-rule but stops short of total independence demanded by the rebels throughout the 17-month war.

There has been no reaction to the proposal so far from Chechen separatist leaders.

Yeltsin has said that the draft document will be signed on June 30 or early July.