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Russia: Officials Permit OSCE To Send Observers To Chechnya

Oslo/Moscow/Grozny, 2 November 1999 (RFE/RL) - Russia has agreed to let the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) send observers to Chechnya. Norwegian Foreign Minister Knut Vollebaek made the announcement today after talks last night with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov in Oslo, on the sidelines of a Middle East peace summit. Russia previously refused to allow OSCE representatives to observe its military campaign in the breakaway republic. Meanwhile, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is due to meet with U.S. President Bill Clinton in Oslo later today for talks expected to focus on Chechnya. Moscow has so far rejected Western appeals to scale down its military operation.