Can Chechnya Problem Be Settled Without Russia?

As it became known just recently, a group of conservative parliamentarians in PACE will vote against the recommendation submitted by PACE delegation headed by Lord Judd on transfer of the date of a referendum in Chechnya. Voting on the problem is scheduled for the second part of the day today.

Russian delegation at winter session of PACE is headed by chairman of the Duma committee for international affairs, Dmitry Rogozin. He is also a member of the PACE conservative political group. In his words, he managed to persuade colleagues of the necessity to support the referendum in order not to frustrate the process of political settlement in the Chechen republic.

We would like to mention that the other day the Russian side suggested a number amendments, including the above mentioned recommendation by Lord Judd, but the suggestion was turned down at the session of the political commission. As Russian news agency RIA Novosti informs, now conservatives are going to vote for the amendment submitted by the Russian side. Dmitry Rogozin says it is a great triumph, although he avoids making any forecasts concerning total results of this voting.

Meanwhile, results of the voting will determine the fate of PACE’s further participation in political regulation in Chechnya. Rogozin promises he will boycott the Parliamentary Assembly if difficulties arise in connection with this problem.

The head of the Russian delegation in PACE told journalists, if the assembly votes for the draft of a resolution on Chechnya suggested by Lord Judd, which will postpone the referendum on draft constitution of the Chechen republic (from March 23 to some indefinite period), “the assembly will have to consider Chechen problems without participation of the Russian delegation.” He added that Russia was urged to seek more competent and reliable partners.

On the whole, Moscow strictly criticizes position on Chechnya that was voiced by Lord Judd. In particular, presidential envoy in Russia’s south federal district Viktor Kazantsev said at a press-conference in the Russian city of Novorossiisk that it was unethical of Lord Judd to declare that it was impossible to organize a referendum on constitution of the Chechen republic at present. Viktor Kazantsev says, it is especially important that “public community and population of Chechnya support the idea of referendum.”

Lord Judd is a well-known provocateur, but at the same time he is PACE’s main reporter on Chechnya problems. However, no matter what resolution on Chechnya is finally passed in PACE, Russia seems to be used to such paradoxes of European and American politics concerning struggle against terrorism. And nobody feels confused in such situations. Let’s remember the situation when Wallraf and Co. were asked to leave.

As Specnaz.Ru reports, “the referendum on Chechnya constitution will take place of course. Legislative authority of the republic will be elected democratically, for sure. These are the facts that especially scare leaders of the Chechen separatism, Arab mercenaries and local Chechen terrorists. They are scared because they understand perfectly well that legitimate authority in Grozny will mean their ultimate fiasco. This will mean the end to Abu Al-Valid and Shamil Basayev.”

Sergey Yugov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Maria Gousseva

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