Chechen Militants To Lay Down Arms?

Ahmad Zakayev, prominent separatist leader and once Chechen Deputy Prime Minister, is expected in Moscow within a few days to negotiate about militants' disarmament and readjustment to peacetime life, Victor Kazantsev, presidential envoy to federal district South, announced after Zakayev made him the offer in a telephone conversation. Zakayev's upcoming conference with federal spokesmen ought not to be regarded as start for a Moscow-Grozny dialogue, warns Sergei Yastrzhembsky. "People hiding in the woods and highlands do not hold power in Grozny," said the federal presidential aide as he called separatist chieftains to "realise just how tough political developments are".

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