June 23, 2008 / 6:07 PM / 11 years ago

Russia to spend 2.5 billion pounds rebuilding Chechnya

Chechen special forces guard a road in Grozny, February 19, 2008. REUTERS/Denis Sinyakov

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will spend $5 billion (2.5 billion pounds) by 2011 on rebuilding Chechnya, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Monday.

The government has poured billions of dollars into rebuilding Chechnya after fighting between Russian forces and Chechen rebels waned.

Russian soldiers have fought two wars since 1994 against rebels in the mainly Muslim republic and the region still battles sporadic violence.

“Tens of thousands of jobs will be created and production will double,” Putin said.

Putin has close ties with Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov, who became president in 2007.

Kadyrov has repeatedly called for more cash from Moscow to rebuild Chechnya, although the republic earns large sums from its high-quality oil.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has promoted Kadyrov to the State Council, a group of seven regional leaders who meet to advise him on policy.

Reporting by Anton Doroshev, writing by James Kilner; editing by Elizabeth Piper

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