Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 121

An international conference opened Tuesday in Moscow on the problems of refugees in the Commonwealth of Independent States. Participants were told that the number of refugees people categorized as refugees is surprisingly large: a total of 2,486,620 persons as of last January. Russia bears the greatest burden, with close to 840,000 seeking refuge and shelter as of July 1. Less than 15 percent of those were ethnic Russians, mainly people quitting Chechnya and the Baltic states. (17) Armenia also has received a flood of refugees, "more than 300,000" from neighboring Azerbaijan.

Alone among the CIS states, Russia and Azerbaijan have laws which define the status, rights, and obligations of refugees. Elsewhere, statutes are either on the verge of taking effect, as in Ukraine and Belarus, or take the form of government decrees. Only Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have nothing in the books for refugees.

1. Russian TV and radio, NTV, Interfax, October 23 through 25

2. Nezavisimaya gazeta, October 25

3. Izvestiya, Russian TV, October 25

4. Itar-Tass, October 25

5. Itar-Tass, October 25

6. Izvestiya, October 26

7. Itar-Tass, October 24

8. Interfax, October 24

9. Itar-Tass, October 25

10. Itar-Tass, October 25

11. BNS, October 24 and 25

12. BNS, October 25

13. Itar-Tass, October 25

14. Itar-Tass, October 25

15. Interfax, October 25

16. Petroleum Information Agency, October 25

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