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Russia/Chechnya: Russian Duma To Debate Chechnya Peace Deal

Moscow, 24 November 1996 (RFE/RL) - Russia's State Duma met today to debate the government's latest peace accord with Chechen separatists and deputies decided to meet again next Friday for a special session devoted to Chechnya.

The motion was a victory for the Communist Party, which has bitterly denounced the peace deal signed yesterday by Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and the Prime Minister of the self-declared Chechen government, Aslan Maskhadov. Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov today called the latest peace agreement "treacherous" and "unconstitutional."

The agreement governs relations between Moscow and Chechnya until elections in the republic scheduled for January 27. Maskhadov today hailed the agreement as proof that the Chechen problem can be solved peacefully. Maskhadov praised Russian President Boris Yeltsin for ordering the removal of the two remaining Russian brigades out of Chechnya. The separatists had demanded the troops' removal as a pre-condition to any accord.

Asked if Chechnya still insisted on full political independence from Moscow, Chechen National Security Adviser Akmed Zakayev would only say "we do not want to provoke the situation."