There is nothing authorities could negotiate with Chechen separatists except the laying down of arms and ways of including militants who never committed any grave crimes in the republic's civilian life, said President Putin's aide Sergei Yastrzhembsky, commenting on Radio Liberty's interview with ex-Chechen President, now a leader of Chechen separatists Aslan Maskhadov. While talking about contacts with the Federal Center, Maskhadov says "Chechnya's overriding term" is to have mediators between his representatives and the Russian side, said Yastrzhembsky in a RIA Novosti interview. However, Maskhadov has no right to speak on behalf of the Chechen nation whose choice was rejected by separatists, pointed out the presidential aide, adding that Maskhadov's hopes for international mediation and a "third party to the dialogue" were "absolutely ephemeral."
The Americans came to realise that they would have to either leave the region or weaken their presence there. It is Russia that is filling the vacuum now