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Russia/Chechnya: Panel Focuses On Restoring Normal Life

Grozny, 12 November 1996 (RFE/RL) - Russia's Security Council Secretary Ivan Rybkin arrived in Grozny today for a meeting of the joint Russian-Chechen commission overseeing reconstruction efforts in the breakaway republic.

Rybkin is accompanied by Sergei Stepashin, head of Russia's administrative departments, and Vyacheslav Mikhailov, Russia's Nationalities Minister.

Rybkin told journalists upon arrival that the joint commission during the next three months will focus on restoring Chechnya's social and economic life. He said both the Russian and Chechen sides were responsible for damages inflicted during the war, and that they would have to work together to rebuild the republic.

Rybkin said today's meeting, which is expected to begin this afternoon, would bring together 39 ministers and deputies from the Russian Federation and 31 Chechen representatives from the republic's coalition government.

Rybkin is expected to travel to Nazran, in Ingushetia, this evening for a meeting of the commission on the peace process in Chechnya. That meeting will be attended by, among others, Emil Pain, special advisor to Russian President Boris Yeltsin and the leaders of the Russian republics of Dagestan and Ingushetia.

Also today, two Russian soldiers were killed in Grozny when an ammunition dump exploded.