Moscow bends on Chechens

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The Independent Online
Moscow bends on Chechens

After weeks of tension between Russia and Chechnya, Moscow sounded a conciliatory note and stressed the need for economic co-operation with the breakaway republic.

The Russian government has been sending mixed signals about its policy on Chechnya in recent days. One hardliner called last week for pre-emptive strikes against Chechen "bandits," while moderates are emphasising the need for compromise. Boris Agapov, deputy secretary of Russia's Security Council, said yesterday that Moscow should work to improve the economy in the region or risk a "worsening of the situation." - AP, Moscow