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Russia: Chechnya Agreement To Be Signed In Moscow

Moscow, 22 November 1996 (RFE/RL) -- The press service of Russian security council secretary Ivan Rybkin says that a bilateral agreement regulating relations between federal authorities and the self-proclaimed Chechen government will be signed in Moscow.

Rybkin was quoted by Interfax earlier as saying that Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and Chechen leader Aslan Maskhadov would sign the agreement in Grozny. Itar-Tass news agency says Rybkin made the statement after the latest round of talks with representatives of the self-proclaimed Chechen government.

Rybkin and the Chechen delegation met today near the Ingush capital of Nazran, site of similar negotiations in the past. Itar-Tass reports plans for the rebuilding of the Chechen economy, the exchange of prisoners and the status of the Russian military contingent in Chechnya were discussed but no concrete measures were announced.

The Chechen side insists on full independence in a permanent political settlement, while Moscow is trying to keep the region, which has oil reserves and an oil pipeline, within the bounds of the Russian Federation.

No specific date for the signing has been set.