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    SPIRITUAL LEADERS ON SOLUTION OF CHECHEN PROBLEM

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    MOSCOW, December 28 (RIA Novosti) - The Chechen problem has no simple solutions, members of the Russian Interfaith Council, Orthodox, Islamic, Buddhist and Judaist spiritual leaders, said at a press conference in Moscow on Tuesday.

    "Simple solutions are often suggested to Russia, for instance, to make Chechnya independent or, on the contrary, make massive attacks on this Russian region. But this will not work. There already was an attempt to make Chechnya independent and it was a failure," deputy chairman of the external church relations department of the Moscow Patriarchate Archpriest Vsevolod Chalplin said.

    According to him, this problem is the struggle against the international network whose goals are more global than separating a small region from Russian territory.

    "We should not put up with terrorism. The authorities and people have the right to stop terrorists by force," he noted.

    "This problem should be solved by a legal constitutional method," said Kharis Saubyanov, chief of staff of the Council of Russia's Muftis.

    According to him, the attempt to introduce the international caliphate to the republic will lead to a religious conflict in Russia.

    "External forces should not interfere in religious traditions," Mr. Saubyanov stressed. In his opinion, the situation in Chechnya is changing for the better.

    Chairman of the Congress of Jewish Religious Associations of Russia Rabbi Zinovy Kogan agreed with him. In his words, Chechen President Alu Alkhanov recently proposed to him restoring the synagogue in Grozny. It means that the situation in Chechnya is improving, he added.

    Chief Rabbi of Russia Berl Lazar stressed that the war in Chechnya is the war against international terrorism.

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