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The Independent Online
Boris Yeltsin's office has unveiled a draft plan for power-sharing in Chechnya, offering it the status of a "sovereign state" within the Russian Federation. It follows his triumphant pre-election initiative in which he invited the Chechen leader, Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, to Moscow, secured a ceasefire agreement from him, then flew to the republic for a visit in which he declared that Russia had won the war - while Mr Yandarbiyev remained in Moscow.

The proposed settlement, drafted by a presidential commission into the Chechen conflict, is similar to an agreement between Moscow and Tartarstan in 1994. Chechnya would have its own constitution, laws, taxes, control over some natural resources, and - possibly - an economic free zone. Control over weapons production, defence and foreign affairs would remain with Moscow. It has yet to be signed.

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