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GROZNY, August 31 (Itar-Tass) - A senior Chechen official has refuted claims by the German authorities thousands of Chechen refugees are seeking asylum in that country.
“We officially declare that among thousands migrants in Germany there is a great number of people who have nothing to do either with the Chechen Republic or with its people,” the director of the external relations department of the head of Chechnya and the republican government, Isa Khadjimuradov, told a joint news conference with the program coordinator of the International Organization for Migration in Russia, Pavel Shalus, in Grozny on Friday.
Earlier, mass media repeatedly carried reports quoting the German authorities as saying that over 10,000 Russian citizens had asked them for asylum since the beginning of this year, and that 90-95 percent of them were people of Chechen descent. Also, there were claims that Russia held first place as to the number of requests from its citizens for political asylum in Germany.
“During the hostilities quite a few people left Chechnya for European countries, but far from all of them have been granted residence permits or citizenship there. Now these people residing in European countries have asked the German authorities for asylum, as they know that Germany is one of the leading countries of the world,” Khadjimuradov said.
Over the past year he has made several trips to Germany and had many meetings with ethnic Chechens resident there.
“They were telling me that people of different nationalities often tried to pass themselves off as Chechens. Before being interviewed they memorize several Chechen phrases and some information about the peculiar features of the Chechen republic and society and then introduce themselves as Chechens,” Khadjimuradov said.