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Russia: Moscow, Chechnya Reportedly Agree on Oil Deal

Grozny, 12 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russia and its breakaway Caucasus republic of Chechnya today reportedly reached agreement on a deal allowing transportation of Azerbaijani oil to the Russian port of Novorossiisk.

Itar-tass says the agreement was reached at a closed door meeting between Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov and Ivan Rybkin, head of Russia's Security Council. The meeting was held at Grozny airport, where Rybkin arrived earlier today.

Before meeting Maskahadov, Rybkin met - also behind closed doors - with the head of the Chechen Southern Oil Company (YUNKO), Khozh-Akhmed Yarikhanov.

Later Maskhadov and Rybkin left for the Black sea resort of Sochi for talks with vacationing Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin.

No details of the deal on the transportation of Azeri oil through Chechnya have been disclosed yet. Signing of the deal was expected last week but was postponed over unspecified differences between the two sides.