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Russia: EU Approves Humanitarian Aid For Chechnya

Brussels/Moscow, 13 May 1997 (RFE/RL) - The European Union has approved an $1.5 million aid package to Chechnya for reconstruction efforts in the war-damaged republic.

In announcing the plan today in Brussels, an EU official said the funds would allow aid agencies to provide food, medicine, water and sanitation services to the breakaway republic over the next six months.

The aid package comes one day after Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov signed what they called a historic peace agreement aimed at putting an end to 400 years of intermittent conflict.

The secretary of Russia's Security Council, Ivan Rybkin, today said the implementing of a socio-economic agreement also signed yesterday is the next step to furthering peace between Russia and Chechnya. In particular, Rybkin said efforts must be focused on rebuilding the war-damaged Chechen infrastructure. Rybkin, speaking in an interview with Ekho Moskva radio, said yesterday's general peace accord does not deal with Chechnya's status.