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No Progress Reported at Nazran Peace Talks

Moscow, June 6 (RFE/RL) -- No progress is reported today as Russian and Chechen separatist negotiators continue a third day of Chechen peace talks in Nazran, the capital of Ingushetia.

Our correspondent in Moscow quotes Russian officials as saying a Chechen separatist draft protocol is, in their words, "unrealistic." The officials says the Chechen separatists are demanding a Russian troop withdrawal by July 1 before they commit themselves to disarming. Russian negotiators insist both moves take place simultaneously. The commander of Russian forces in Chechnya Vyacheslav Tikhomirov said yesterday the troop withdrawal would occur, but said logistical aspects of the pullout had to be resolved.

Yesterday the two sides did reach a compromise on exchanging prisoners. Lists are to be exchanged by Sunday, and the captives are to be released in two weeks.

The talks follow up last Monday's ceasefire reached between President Boris Yeltsin and Chechen separatist leader Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev.

Before talks resumed today, Chechen separatist spokesman Movladi Udugov said the peace intiative would be considered a failure if an agreement on the troop withdrawal was not reached today.