Moscow, 29 May 1997 (RFE/RL) -- An official at the International Red Cross' Moscow office said today the organization does not have plans to soon resume its humanitarian activities in Chechnya.
An earlier report by the Itar-tass news agency quoted a Red Cross official in the Chechen capital, Grozny -- Francois Bugnon -- as saying the Red Cross would soon resume operations. They were suspended in December 1996, after the killing of six Red Cross officials by unknown gunmen.
But Paul Connelly, Red Cross information director for the CIS, told our Moscow correspondent the Red Cross has decided to resume activities only after Chechen authorities solve the murders.
Connelly said Bugnon relayed that message to Chechen president Aslan Maskhadov and other officials in Grozny.
He said the Red Cross is "interested" in resuming activities in Chechnya, but that Chechen authorities must guarantee their security.