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Russia: Kremlin Proposes A Kind Of Independence For Chechnya

Moscow, 22 August 1997 (RFE/RL) - The Kremlin said today that Russia should grant its breakaway republic of Chechnya maximum independence while maintaining common economic, defence, financial and customs arrangements.

Sergei Yastrzhembsky however told a Moscow briefing that the road to signing a long-term treaty between Moscow and Grozny will be "rather long".

Moscow and Grozny signed a peace accord in May but left the issue of Chechnya's status unresolved. Russian President Boris Yeltsin said after talks with his Chechen counterpart Aslan Maskhadov earlier this week that the treaty, to be drafted by a special commission would enhance Chechen sovereignty.

Yastrzhembsky told reporters today Yeltsin also wants order, especially in the financial sphere, to be established both in Moscow and Grozny. After his talks with Maskhadov Yeltsin acknowledged that not all federal funds allocated to Chechnya reached the war-damaged Caucasus republic.