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UPDATED: 11:03, August 23, 2004
Putin meets with Chechen leaders
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Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Chechen First Deputy Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov and head of the Public Council for Control of Chechen Reconstruction Alu Alkhanov in Sochi on Sunday.

He backed the idea of using all funds from Chechen oil export for the republic's restoration."I think that is possible. Make this proposal to the prime minister and I will speak to him," said Putin, describing the idea as reasonable. "If necessary the government will make a decision to the effect, and if we need legislative amendments, I am ready to make a request to Duma deputies," he said.

Putin thinks that the State Duma will support the idea. "Why take money from the federal budget at the time when the republic is producing the product, which is so highly demanded on the world market, and can use the profits for solving social and economic problems," the president said.

Yet he told the Chechen administration to strictly control the spending of oil export profits.

Alkhanov informed Putin about the social and economic situation in Chechnya.

"It is difficult enough, but at the same time, the decision by the Inter-Departmental Commission, headed by Minister for Economic Development German Gref, gives grounds to believe that work on the republic's restoration and its social sphere should improve noticeably," Alkhanov stated.

He called compensation payments as the key sore point. "A definite decline emerged after Akhmad Kadyrov's death, but measures, taken by federal structures, the Chechen government, the Interior Ministry and the Non-Government Council, have helped to issue 11,967 compensations to residents of the republic, as of this Sunday," Alkhanov emphasized.

Putin called on the Chechen leadership to pay unflagging attention to paying compensations for lost housing. "The absence of necessary documentation often causes difficulties," the president said. "Power structures should step in most actively and render assistance. Otherwise this work cannot be done," Putin noted.

Putin asked about the development of the mobile phone system in Chechnya.

"The republican government should give more active assistance to the solution of this problem," Putin said.

Alkhanov said Chechnya had received permission to use mobile phones, but the process was slow. "In general, there are mobile phone services in Chechnya at present. About 500 mobile phones are distributed per day," he said. "Certainly, there are still shortcomings, but it is the most important that republican residents can use mobile phones." He stressed that no special permissions to buy a mobile phone are now necessary.

Putin said that the small number of mobile phone offices was one of the problems.

Earlier in the day Putin, Alkhanov and Kadyrov visited the Tsentoroi cemetery, where Chechen first president Akhmad Kadyrov was buried. Akhmad Kadyrov died in a terrorist act in Grozny on May 9. Putin laid flowers on the tomb.

Putin had visited Chechnya before.

He made a working trip to Gudermes for presenting awards to Russian servicemen on January 1, 2000, in the capacity of Russian acting president and prime minister.

The then acting president Putin met with the command of the combined federal forces in the North Caucasus and the civilian authorities to discuss the social and economic reconstruction of Chechnya on March 20, 2000. He also attended the withdrawal ceremony for the 331st paratrooper regiment of the 98th air-borne division.

On April 14, 2001 Putin chaired a conference of local administration heads in Khankala and flied over the area where paratroopers from the Pskov division died on March 1, 2001.

Putin made a working trip to Chechnya on May 11, 2004, in connection with the terrorist act at the Grozny stadium on May 9. He had a number of meetings with republican government members and law enforcers.

Source: Itar-Tass

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