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Umar Dzhabrailov:"The republic is preparing for parliamentary elections"
"The republic (of Chechnya) is preparing for parliamentary elections. I believe they could be held in fall," said Umar Dzhabrailov, member of the Russian Federation Council from Chechnya, at the meeting of the Council's representatives with a delegation of British MPs. When speaking of the agreement on division of powers between the federal center and Chechnya that was being worked out, he said, "As of now Chechnya is a postwar territory, so we will naturally work out different kinds of economic privileges in the agreement. Politics, however, is out of the question. We will be part of Russia only, we are one nation, one country, but we need economic privileges and preferences." The agreement may be signed in May. Mr. Dzhabrailov also said that the republic was focusing on restoring its economic and social spheres, and that it would welcome British aid. "It would be fair if you took part in a possible coalition of many countries to restore our republic," he said. Chechnya is interested in the possibility of sending its school leavers to study in foreign universities, he explained. "It would be very useful and important for us if your country could assist our youth in exchanging guns for computers." Lord William Walles, head of the delegation, said that before providing aid to Chechnya, Britain would like to understand Russia's strategy in the Caucasus and see a long-term strategy for the republic's development. Mikhail Margelov, chairman of the Federation Council's International Committee, invited the MPs to attend a roundtable on Chechen problems in Moscow on March 21. The invitation was accepted with gratitude. "Our mass media provide little truthful information about the situation in the Caucasus. We only see scenes of war and violence," Lord Walles said.
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