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Russia: Ingush President Urges Peace Talks In Chechnya

Moscow, 12 April 2000 (RFE/RL) - The president of the Russian republic of Ingushetia today called for a political solution to the conflict in Chechnya. Ruslan Aushev said Ingushetia is already working toward such a solution. Sergei Yastrzhembsky, the Kremlin spokesman on Chechnya, said Moscow has no reason to trust Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov. There have been no major clashes recently in Chechnya but rebels continue ambushing Russian forces. Today rebels ambushed a border patrol in the southern Argun gorge.

Russian media said a Russian colonel had been arrested for allegedly taking $25,000 for helping Chechen rebels escape to safety. Meanwhile, the State Duma today called a recent vote in the Council of Europe depriving Moscow of its voting rights a "mistake" and said it would complicate relations between the West and Russia.