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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Pours Cold Water On Chechnya's UN Bid

Moscow on Tuesday dismissed moves by Chechnya to become a member of the United Nations by saying the breakaway republic was "an integral part of Russia."

"Only states recognized at international level can ask to be a member of the UN," Interfax quoted Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Vladimir Rakhmanin as saying.

On Monday, Chechen Foreign Minister Movladi Udugov said Grozny planned to apply for UN membership. He said documents had already been prepared for the application. (See editorial, Page 8.)

Since Moscow and the separatists signed the peace agreement, following 21 months of war, the two sides have failed to agree over the question of status for the small republic in the Caucasus.

Moscow insists that Chechnya remains part of the Russian Federation, but a final decision on the Moslem republic's status was put off for five years under the peace accord.

On Tuesday, a delegation from the Chechen parliament met with Russian lawmakers in Moscow and proposed that Chechnya be admitted into the Commonwealth of Independent States as a full-fledged member.

"We made a proposal which, at least, was not rejected out of hand," the Chechen parliamentary delegation's leader, Akhyad Idigov, said at a news conference in the State Duma.

Chechnya has the right to join the CIS "like any other member of the former Soviet Union," he said. Chechnya also has the right to join the United Nations, Idigov said.

In other events Tuesday, a mini-bus collided with a gasoline tanker in Chechnya, killing up to 14 people.

The accident took place at a junction of the Caucasus highway between Grozny and the city of Urus-Martan, 1,500 kilometers southwest of Moscow.

The toll was so high because of a fire that broke out after the crash near Yurus-Martan, southwest of the capital, Grozny, the Chechen Security Ministry said. No cause was given for the accident.

Emergency workers could not put out the resulting blaze until firemen arrived from Grozny, 20 kilometers away.