Secretary of Russia's Security Council: Russia will proceed along the path of political settlement in Chechnya

Secretary of Russia's Security Council Sergei Ivanov, stated that Russia "has finally committed itself to political settlement in Chechnya and will proceed along this path, keeping all the requirements of security of Chechen citizens and our service-men". According to him, the main task now is to ensure public safety in the Republic. Sergei Ivanov made this statement after his meeting with the French defence minister, Alain Richard, who is on a visit to Moscow now. Ivanov said that the Chechen issue was high on the agenda of the talks. In his words, the French stance on this issue is based on Russia's territorial integrity. France supports Moscow's anti-terror efforts in the North Caucasus. Sergei Ivanov stressed that the final neutralisation of paramilitary groups on the Republic's territory was the prerequisite to stabilizing social and economic life in the Chechen Republic, RIA Novosti announces. Sergey Ivanov said that special operations will probably be carried out in Chechnya. He added that military operations aimed to neutralise single bands of militants in Chechnya differ from such kind of operations.

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