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Acting President Vladimir Putin arrived in Grozny

March 20, 2000

At Severny Airport, Acting President told reporters he intended to chair a meeting with the leadership of the federal forces in Chechnya and another one with the representatives of local authorities to discuss social and economic aspects of the situation in the republic.

Speaking to journalists, Mr Putin voiced a call to militants to surrender, referring in that regard to an act of amnesty approved by the State Duma. The Acting President said the Russian military would definitely accomplish their mission of elimination of the militants persisting in armed resistance.

Mr Putin arrived in Grozny on a SU-27 fighter jet, seated in the co-pilot’s seat, and during the flight he at some stage took over the flight’s control.

Prior to flying to Grozny, the Acting President instructed Mikhail Kasyanov, First Deputy Prime Minister, to chair a meeting with Deputy Prime Ministers and heads of military and security agencies scheduled for that day. He also instructed Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko to hold a telephone conference with regional governors to discuss back pays to public employees.

March 20, 2000