The Russian presidential administration has commented on the president's sending to the Russian State Duma, the lower house of parliament, a draft resolution on amnesty in Chechnya.
"The amnesty is necessitated by a historic event in the life of the Chechen people - the adoption of the republic's constitution," a source in the Kremlin told RIA Novosti.
According to him, there are many people in Chechnya who remain members of illegal armed formations in which they were involved by mistake, deception or because they were threatened by the use of force against themselves or their relatives.
"The situation these people found themselves in during the period of the Chechen conflict made them manipulated. Many of them are ready to lay down arms and return to peaceful life. It should be realised that now, that the constitution of the Chechen republic has been adopted with the majority of its population voting for it, the continuation of armed resistance will actually be aimed against people themselves. However, wishing to return to peaceful life they are forced to hide or carry on with resistance fearing punishment. The amnesty will allow them to cope with the situation and to stay free to participate in the settlement of the Chechen Republic," RIA Novosti's interlocutor said.
He said it was worth noting that it was suggested not to grant amnesty to people who committed grave crimes, to foreigners and people with no citizenship and in extreme cases of the repetition of offences.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.