Chechen Interior Minister: no repetition of Ingush situation

Chechen authorities will prevent the repetition of a situation similar to recent events in Ingushetia, said Chechen Interior Minister Alu Alkhanov. He made this statement after a conference with Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov.

"We will prevent destabilization in the republic, especially on the threshold of the presidential election campaign," he told journalists in Moscow. Alkhanov is considered the main contender in the presidential elections scheduled for August 29 in this Russian autonomy in the North Caucasus.

Early on June 22 militants attacked a number of state power facilities in Ingushetia; 88 people were killed as a result.

"We have the necessary force and means to smother any manifestation [of terrorism], and those who are trying to do it won't get away with it so easily as in Ingushetia," Alkhanov stressed.

The Chechen interior minister said, "Our task, the task of federal and republican authorities, is to take all preventing measures."

Commenting on the latest statement of Shamil Basayev, the leader of Chechen separatists, about the intention to continue the practice of armed attacks on state power facilities on Russian territory, Alkhanov supposed that by such actions "he will try to destabilize the situation not only in Chechnya, in the North Caucasus, but throughout Russia."

"But I am sure and I know that law enforcers have all means to prevent this," he emphasized.

Before the year's end, an additional 2.8 billion rubles ($1 equals 29 rubles) will be allocated from the federal budget on the restoration of Chechnya's social and economic sphere, Alu Alkhanov said.

"The process of restoration, due to objective and subjective reasons has slowed down, additional financing became necessary, and at today's conference, Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov, by a resolute decision, ordered to allocate an additional 2.8 billion rubles before the year's end," Alkhanov said.

He said that 6 billion rubles is planned to be allocated for similar aims in 2005.

"However, financing will start only after preparation of a specific program of restoration, after specification of objects," Alkhanov said.

Another result of the conference, in the Chechen interior minister's words, was the premier's instruction to establish an interdepartmental commission led by Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref, which will coordinate the work of federal ministries and the Chechen government's work.

"The most important thing is to ensure control over funds spending," Alu Alkhanov said.

The same is true about payment of compensations to those citizens of Chechnya who lost housing.

"Today the schedule of payments was determined and a decision taken about the toughening of control over money distribution, so that it reaches those who really lost housing and property," Alkhanov said.

In his words, today a candidacy for the post of chairman of the commission that will supervise the course of payment was nominated. As soon as the candidate is confirmed, the process of compensation payment will speed up, said Alkhanov.

The Chechen interior minister said he is satisfied with the course of consideration of the issue about compensations and restoration of the Chechen social and economic sphere.

"Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov was concerned about this issue and he revealed deep reasons because of which the restoration and compensation payment program stopped, and he finally took the decision that will make it possible already this year not to spend funds on unnecessary projects but finish restoration of the facilities that were to have been completed this year," Alkhanov said.

He added that a relevant program on payments and restoration for 2005 has been also determined. Answering journalists' question what means will be used to finance all necessary events, Alu Alkhanov said that these will be mostly funds from the federal budget, as well as from a number of branch ministries.