Work on Draft Agreement on Separation of Powers between Federal Centre and Chechnya Underway

The work on the draft agreement between the federal centre and Chechnya is already underway, RIA Novosti learned from Russian Federation Council member from the Chechen administration Akhmar Zavgayev on Monday.

The agreement may be signed after the referendum on Chechnya's constitution, scheduled for March 23rd, he believes.

The republic has every possibility to restore its economy using its own resources, Zavgayev pointed out. Moreover, the agreement could ensure tax exemptions for small businesses, able to create additional jobs, as well as for the oil-producing sector, the senator believes.

Chairman of the upper chamber's constitution committee Yuri Sharandin in an interview with RIA Novosti gave highly praised the outlook for future life arrangements in Chechnya and especially the forthcoming signing of the special agreement, voiced in the President's address.

The document should include several stages, first of all, restoring ones, he believes. The senator spoke in favour of increased allocations for restoring the Chechen economy. "In compliance with the agreement, the federal authorities could be responsible for supplying the republic with means necessary to restore it, while the Chechen authorities should guarantee full, timely and targeted use of those means," Sharandin said.

Under the agreement, the 2004 budget "may already have exact provisions for restoring the republic with strict and simultaneously public control over their use on the part of the Chechen administration," he pointed out.

The tax policy should be a separate issue, the senator believes. He did not rule out that the agreement might allow the republic to keep part of its tax returns.

When commenting on the notion of "broad autonomy", Sharandin said he believed that the President used it in the context of the agreement between the federal centre and Chechnya, "the federal centre's relations with Chechnya will be transformed from the recipients' attitude into the active builder's attitude." Chairman of the Federation Council's defence committee Viktor Ozerov is of the same opinion. In an interview with RIA Novosti he expressed his confidence that the broad autonomy status that could be granted to Chechnya would be concerned with its social and economic development. The senator does not rule out that within the agreement Chechnya may be granted independence in using its own economic potential.

The work on the agreement on separation of powers between the Chechen Republic and the federal centre will start immediately after the referendum on the republic's constitution, head of the Kremlin Administration Alexander Voloshin reported last Thursday.

At a session in Grozny, Voloshin urged heads of the local administrations, ministries and departments to think over the future document, which should reflect all opinions.

Generally, he does not support agreements between the federal centre and constituent members, yet the Chechen republic is just the case when such an agreement is necessary, Voloshin emphasised.