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Chechens, Russians Resume Peace Talks

Moscow, June 4 (RFE/RL) -- Interfax news agency says Chechen separatist military commander Aslan Maskhadov and Russian Nationalities Minister Vyacheslav Mikhailov began talks today in Nazran in Ingushetia.

The talks are aimed at ending military operations in Chechnya and consolidating a shaky ceasefire in the breakaway republic.

Interfax news agency said that Tim Guldimann, head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) mission in Chechnya, accompanied the Chechen separatist delegation to the talks. Another convoy including Russian military commanders in Chechnya reportedly left for the talks this morning from Grozny, the Chechen capital.

The Nazran talks follow the signing of an agreement in Moscow last week by Chechen rebel leader Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev and Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin.

Both sides have accused each other of violating a ceasefire that was supposed to go into effect on Saturday.