Chechnya Within Russia: Virtual Reality

Acts of terrorism ruin officials' efforts to provide stability and peace in Chechnya

The draft agreement pertaining to the differentiation of authorities between the federal center and the republic of Chechnya was published in the Chechen press last Saturday. In the document, Chechnya is defined as a legal sovereign democratic social state within the structure of the Russian Federation. The draft agreement was not a sensation. Dmitry Kozak, deputy head of the presidential administration, said that the work on the agreement to differentiate the authorities between the federal center and Chechnya would be over only in the beginning of October, after "numerous discussions and conciliatory procedures." In addition to it, the document is just a part of the Kremlin-led policy to pacify the rebellious republic.

The draft agreement will be discussed, changed and added. The main thing that is supposed to stay intact, as Kremlin officials believe, is the fact that the republic should remain a part of the Russian Federation. The Russian government needs peace and stability in Chechnya (at least, the semblance of it) for the West, first and foremost. Recent acts of terrorism in the republic ruin officials' efforts: the constitutional referendum, the amnesty, compensations, elections, a draft agreement, and so on. Kremlin officials take certain efforts indeed, and so does acting Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov. He shared his point of view about the current situation in Chechnya with a correspondent of the Vremya Novostei newspaper.

 - Why does Chechnya need the document about the differentiation of authorities, taking into consideration the fact that the Russian government breaks such agreements with other Federation units?

- We have no differentiation of authorities. We have no processes that have been happening in Russia since 1991 either.  We have no privatization, and we have to go through all of that now.

- When will the document be signed?

- I do not know, I think it might be signed in September, or after the elections.

- Will the legal power of the agreement depend on the status of the person who signs it - the president or the acting president of Chechnya?

- No, of course, not. There is the president's signature there in the document. The contents of the document are much more important. It goes without saying that one would like to have a normal agreement, but I do not see any profit for myself in this respect.

- Which period does the document embrace?

- Ten years.

A large delegation from Chechnya arrived in Moscow yesterday, having brought the draft agreement. Akhmad Kadyrov said that he would strive for passing that version of the document. On the other hand, it is not very nice of Kadyrov to complain of the federal center. The Kremlin has endowed Chechnya with the notorious sovereignty, and Dmitry Kozak has recently promised even more. Chechnya will be granted a "broader autonomy, taking into consideration the situation in the republic," Dmitry Kozak said Tuesday. Deputy head of the presidential administration did not exclude that Chechnya would have an opportunity to obtain more privileges to handle its natural resources. "The Chechen Constitution stipulates that certain authorities may be handed over to a certain Federation unit," the official said.

Excerpts from the draft agreement

Chechen diplomatic offices, offshore zones, the independent national bank and so on:

Russia and Chechnya jointly participate in international relations, set up links with foreign states and conclude agreements with them, if they do not contradict to the Russian Constitution and international obligations. Chechnya may open its representative offices abroad in coordination with the Russian Foreign Ministry. Free economic zones may be created in the Chechen republic in coordination with the federal center.

The draft agreement stipulates the establishment of the national bank in Chechnya. The emission amount will be determined on the yearly basis by the Russian Central Bank in coordination with the Chechen government. The chairman of the Chechen national bank and his deputy will have a right to act on behalf of the Russian Central Bank when negotiating with foreign officials.

The draft agreement also stipulates that the part of the territory, where military troops are deployed, is the property of the Chechen republic. The military command will have an obligation to inform the republic's government about any movement of the military troops. Weapons of mass destruction may not be moved on the republic's territory without a coordination with its government.

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Author`s name Olga Savka