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    MILITANTS IN CHECHNYA HAVE NO FUTURE, SAYS RUSSIAN ACTING FOREIGN MINISTER

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    MOSCOW, February 26 (RIA Novosti) - The number of militants in Chechnya is decreasing, and they have no future, Russian acting Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov told the Al Arabia television channel.

    "The Chechen people understands it right who to follow," Mr. Ivanov said.

    In his words, it's generally known that international terrorist organizations wanted to use Chechnya as a platform to spread their influence in the North Caucasus. Facts have been established confirming that the militants prepared by Al Qaeda in Afghanistan were heading for Chechnya, Mr. Ivanov said.

    "The presidential elections were held; the Chechen people is restoring the republic, and it's the most graphic evidence that the hardest period in its history is gone. I appreciate it that in Moslem states they understand these problems," said the acting foreign minister.

    He emphasized that Moscow had and has a tough position in regard to terrorists.

    "All militants have to know that they will answer for their crimes sooner or later. Most terrorists who committed crimes in Moscow and other cities have been or will be seized. We will not stop until they are brought to account for crimes against innocent people," concluded Mr. Ivanov.

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