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Russia: Yeltsin Creates Commission On Chechen Relations

Moscow, 14 February 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russian President Boris Yeltsin has ordered the formation of a commission headed by Security Council chief Ivan Rybkin to work out Moscow's future relations with Chechnya.

Presidential Spokesman Sergei Yasterzhembsky told reporters today that the commission has been instructed to work out by the end of next month a power sharing agreement between the Federal Center and the Caucasus republic.

Interfax news agency, quoting the text of Yeltsin's order, said the commission would also include the president's representative to the Constitution Court, Sergei Shakrai, Deputy Security Council secretary Boris Berezovsky, and First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Potanin, among others.

In Grozny Chechnya's new Vice President Vakha Arsanov rejected the idea of power sharing between Russian federal authorities and the Chechen leadership. Arsanov told Itar-Tass that relations between Moscow and Chechnya should be based on peace agreements signed last year. Chechnya's newly elected president, Aslan Maskhadov, has not commented on Yeltsin's decision so far.