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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Maskhadov Seeks U.S. Cash For Chechen Development

WASHINGTON -- Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov said Friday that foreign investors were welcome to help rebuild his republic's war-battered economy.

He said he had set a target of $30 billion in short- and long-term projects to reconstruct and repair highways, airports and oil and agricultural installations destroyed during the 1994-96 war with Russia that ended with a cease-fire.

Chechnya runs its own affairs and considers itself independent. But Moscow and the rest of the world treat it as part of Russia.

Maskhadov, attending the 2nd International Islamic Unity Conference, said he planned meetings with members of Congress and with U.S. businessmen during his visit. But aides declined to say whom he was seeing.

He said Chechnya was doing its best to assure the security of a pipeline that carries oil from Azerbaijan on the Caspian Sea to the Russian port of Novorossiisk on the Black Sea. He said Chechnya could use transit revenue from these shipments to guarantee foreign investment.

"We have many development plans to recover from the war," Maskhadov said. "You can come and invest your money as you wish."

He said he had conveyed a similar message to Turkish government officials and business people during a stop there on his way to the United States.