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    PUTIN AND INTERIOR MINISTER DISCUSS SITUATION IN CHECHNYA

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    MOSCOW, April 8 (RIA Novosti) - President of Russia Vladimir Putin has spoken in favor of gradual passing over of responsibility for security and law and order in Chechnya to the republic's interior bodies.

    "We must make it in such a way that the full responsibility for maintaining security and law and order in the Chechen Republic will be gradually passed over to the interior agencies of the Chechen Republic", said the Russian President while meeting on Thursday with Interior Minister of the Russian Federation Rashid Nurgaliyev.

    "When I say full responsibility I mean the responsibility which is shouldered by the anti-terrorist units and headquarters," the head of state said.

    The Inrterior Minister said in this connection that in some districts of Chechnya, especially in the plain districts, provisional interior departments are passing over such responsibility to the permanent interior departments. "Over the first quarter of this year with the active role played by the Interior Ministry of the Republic 145 bandits were rendered harmless, and over sixty militants laid their arms down, as a result of the preventive measures," Nurgaliyev said.

    The interior bodies of Chechnya have performed better in the first quarter of this year as compared to previous year," the Minister stated. "The interaction between interior bodies of Chechnya and the federal interior agencies has been growing. There are also tangible results as regards economic crimes and the exposure of especially grave crime," Nurgaliyev said.

    He noted that one of the priority tasks of today is to raise the level of professionalism of officers in Chechnya's interior bodies. "In particular, more than 2,000 people got their first professional skills at secondary specialized schools last year which will be used by them to restore the police in the republic," the minister said.

    He also pointed out that quite sufficient number of officers from Chechnya's interior bodies studied at present at day-time and corresponding departments in 29 higher specialized educational establishments. An affiliation of the Krasnodar Academy of the Interior Ministry is to open on September 1. Some 100 students will study there.

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