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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

No Refuge in Moldova

CHISINAU, Moldova -- Afraid of souring relations with Russia, President Petru Lucinschi has said officials of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees should not grant refugee status to 60 fleeing Chechens, media reported Tuesday.

Lucinschi said late Monday that "the Chechen issue is an internal matter of Russia.'' He said the UN had not taken Moldovan law into account.

Kris Janowski, a UN spokesman in Geneva, said Moldovan authorities "have been sympathetic to our effort to help (the refugees) with our status determination. We don't see how this could upset Russia.''