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Russia: Security Council Chief Discusses Elections, Peace Agreement

Moscow, 27 January 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russian Security Council chief Ivan Rybkin met today with his senior advisors to discuss the situation in Chechnya, as elections were underway in the breakaway republic.

The Security Council's press service said Rybkin met his deputies and the co-chair of the joint commission on Chechnya, Georgi Kurin. The press service said the implementation of the Russian-Chechen peace agreement was also discussed. Participants noted that communication and transportation links had been partially restored in Chechnya.

The Security Coucil also said agreements had been reached between Chechen and Russian leaders to fight against crime and to secure the transit of oil through the Caucasus republic.

Meanwhile, refugees who were forced to flee the fighting in Chechnya are voting in the breakaway republic's elections today. The president of neighboring Ingushetia, Ruslan Aushev, told Interfax news agency today that six polling stations are open in Ingushetia where he said an estimated 20,000 refugees are expected to cast their ballots. He said that so far the turnout had been high.

Interfax also says that roughly 5,000 refugees living in Dagestan traveled to the Chechen border today to vote at special polling stations. Polling stations were not opened in Dagestan itself.

Russian politicians have expressed concern that many of the 400,000 refugees who fled Chechnya during the war will not be able to take part in today's voting.