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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


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Premier: Lebed's Plan 'Needs Extra Work'

Combined Reports In the first Kremlin response to security chief Alexander Lebed's plan for solving the Chechen conflict, Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin said Thursday that the document needed ""a lot of extra work"" and attacked Chechen rebels for breaching the plan's spirit. Chernomyrdin made the remarks after a meeting with Lebed, Federation Council Chairman Yegor Stroyev, State Duma Chairman Gennady Seleznyov and the ministers of defense, interior, justice and the federal security service. Chernomyrdin's press secretary Viktor Konnov said the prime minister had called the two-hour meeting at the request of President Boris Yeltsin, who is vacationing at a hunting resort 125 kilometers outside of Moscow. Konnov gave no details of what changes needed to be made to Lebed's plan, which itself has not been made public but is believed to involve a promise to hold a referendum on the status of Chechnya after a cooling-off period.

Health Officials Blase To Belarus HIV Cases

An unprecedented eruption of 370 new cases of HIV infection in sleepy Svetlogorsk this summer may have sent shock waves through Belarus, but Moscow officials due east of the outbreak were blas? about the epidemic Thursday. ""What happened in Belarus doesn't surprise me,"" said Alexander Goliusov, chief AIDS specialist at Russia's Health Ministry of Health, referring to the incident in which intravenous drug users from one town were infected with the deadly virus by sharing needles. ""The same thing is happening here -- maybe not in one town, but all over Russia. ""If at the beginning of the year we had only three registered cases of the HIV infection due to intravenous drug use, now we have 205,"" said Goliusov, adding that in Russia, as in Belarus, the AIDS virus is spread most rapidly by drug addicts. ""This is one of the stages of the epidemic that has passed through many countries,"" said Goliusov, who stated earlier this summer that Russia itself is on the brink of an AIDS epidemic.

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