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Acting President and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin held a meeting with Interior Minister Vladimir Rushailo

February 1, 2000, The Kremlin, Moscow

Mr Rushailo reported on counter-terrorism efforts in Russia, notably in Chechnya, where nine new branches of the Interior Ministry had been opened, bringing the total number to 20.

The minister said that the Interior Ministry offices in Chechnya were carrying out an operation to establish the names of members of illegal armed groups. Several dozen people had been detained on suspicion of being members of such groups. Firearms and explosives had been confiscated from them.

A considerable number of weapons and explosives have also been confiscated in the Krasnoyarsk Region, Moscow and the Moscow Region, the minister said.

Speaking about counter-terrorism operations in Russia, Mr Rushailo said that the Interior Ministry bodies were working to prevent attacks, including at residential blocks and transport junctions.

The minister also told Mr Putin about the fight against economic crimes. Following inspections by controlling agencies in some regions, criminal lawsuits have been initiated on the embezzlement of budgetary funds.

Mr Rushailo said that an operation had been held in Moscow, during which four foreign nationals had been detained for illegal transactions with precious stones worth about $10 million. The gems were confiscated.

He also spoke about joint operations of Russian and Armenian law-enforcers. On February 2 and 3, the two countries’ interior ministries will hold a board meeting to discuss the fight against terrorism, illegal transactions with weapons, and organised crime.

February 1, 2000, The Kremlin, Moscow