Source Pravda.Ru

Federal minister welcomes return of Chechen refugees

Vladimir Zorin, Russian minister overseeing ethnic relations, sets high store by the just-begun process of return of Chechen migrants to Chechnya. "It is very important that this process is proceeding on a voluntary footing," stressed Zorin.

He noted that the process of return of forced migrants begins with backing from the organs of power of Chechnya and Ingushetia. The government is now preparing legislative documents for the provision of material aid to people returning to Chechnya.

As regards the prospect of holding elections in Chechnya, Zorin stressed that "this process should begin with fixing the constitutional system of the Chechen republic." In his view, a referendum should above all be held on a constitution for Chechnya. His forecast is: "the presidential model of the state system of Chechnya is more preferable." Vladimir Zorin did not give a precise dateframe for elections in Chechnya and stressed that "only preliminary steps can possibly be held this year." "New goals can be handled next year," Zorin noted. "Without the most active participation of the people of Chechnya the holding of elections or a political settlement in the republic are impossible," said Vladimir Zorin in conclusion.