Russian minister denies statements that census results in Chechnya have been overrated

Minister on Russia's national policy Vladimir Zorin has denied statements that census results concerning Chechnya have been overrated.

"Currently there are no facts proving that preliminary results given by the All-Russian general census including ones concerning the Chechen republic have been wrong," Zorin stated in his interview with RIA Novosti. He gave this comment in response to some law enforcement organisations' statements that there were not more that 500-600,000 citizens in Chechnya instead of one million and sixty thousand people registered by the government.

"The census results are being processed in compliance with the schedule approved by the State Committee on the All-Russian general census. I do not think that in this matter we must revive the traditions of socialist competition and hasten the developments," Zorin stated.

He recalled that according to preliminary census information, a total of 145 million and 200 thousand people lived in Russia, over a million out of which lived in Chechnya.

The final results of the census will be produced in December 2003, with the ones on national and social composition to be produced in September-October, the Minister stated.

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