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    MOSCOW IS READY TO INTERACT WITH OSCE FOR FURTHER POLITICAL SETTLEMENT IN CHECHNYA

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    MOSCOW, February 17, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Russia is ready to interact with the OSCE, Council of Europe and EU in the interests of the further political settlement and restoration in Chechnya, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov disclosed this following the talks with his Bulgarian colleague, acting OSCE Chairman Solomon Pasi.

    In the course of today's talks agreements on formation of various working groups were reached, Mr. Ivanov said.

    "The groups will prepare proposals on the concrete projects of the work in Chechnya," Mr. Ivanov specified.

    Besides the issue of the Russian interaction with the OSCE in Chechnya other regional issues were discussed in the course of today's talks, in particular the issue concerning the Transdniestrian settlement (Transdniestria is a self-proclaimed republic in Moldova) and the issue concerning the presence of Russian military bases in Georgia, he added.

    Solomon Pasi in his turn noted that he was satisfied with Russia's intention to interact with the OSCE.

    Speaking about the OSCE interaction with Russia in Chechnya, he noted that at the initial stage of the work on the projects in this sphere "it would be hard to expect miracles, but if one wants them to happen one must start with something." "We sincerely welcome Russia's intention to cooperate in this direction," Mr. Pasi noted.

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