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Acting President Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting on social and economic issues and on economy rebuilding in Chechnya

March 20, 2000, Severny Airport, Grozny

Participants in the meeting were Government Plenipotentiary Envoy to Chechnya Nikolai Koshman, representatives of the Ministry of Civil Defence, Emergencies and Disaster Relief, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Atomic Energy, Federal Migration Service, Ministry of Federation and Nationalities, district military commandants and heads of provisional district administrations of Chechnya, most of whom met with Mr Putin in the Kremlin a week before last week.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Acting President pointed out it would only be possible to rebuild Grozny after the situation is more secure, while to date the military had not completed city de-mining and shootings occasionally occur.

Mr Putin said his visit to Chechnya was interesting and useful, and allowed to once again assess the damage caused by fighting in Grozny. It was also an opportunity to personally meet with the military and civilians restoring a peaceful life in the republic, he stressed.

Russia would gradually return to its obligations under the CFE Treaty. Some of the armoured vehicles were being relocated at the moment, but that did not mean the Russian military were leaving Chechnya, the Acting President said.

“The armed forces we need to accomplish the operation will remain here. I do not think the operation will be completed soon, though. We believe the end to terrorist outrage should be put here where it had sprung from,” Mr Putin said.

The Acting President left Grozny on the same SU-27 fighter jet that brought him there. The fighter jet was chosen for security reasons.

March 20, 2000, Severny Airport, Grozny