Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 190

. Prosecutor General Skuratov said that one of the problems with the Khasavyurt accords was that they were signed with Chechen chief-of-staff Aslan Maskhadov, for whom an arrest warrant is outstanding. Skuratov said his office has no power to cancel the warrants issued for the arrest of Maskhadov and the political leader of the Chechen opposition, Zelimkhan Yandarbiev. Although top-level Moscow leaders, including Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and National Security Chief Aleksandr Lebed, have held negotiations with both men, warrants are still outstanding for their arrest and the arrest of other leaders of the Chechen opposition. (ORT, October 10)

But a lasting peace will not be negotiated without their participation, making the outstanding arrest warrants an embarrassing issue. In Skuratov’s opinion, the Russian Duma should make the Chechen opposition leaders "normal negotiating partners" by granting them an amnesty. (NTV, October 10) At present, however, the Duma shows no willingness to do this. According to Yabloko leader Grigori Yavlinsky, three-quarters of the deputies support the war in Chechnya "in one way or another." (NTV, October 9) The chairman of the Duma’s national security committee, Communist Viktor Ilyukhin, strongly opposes the idea of an amnesty for Yandarbiev and Maskhadov. Only Duma Speaker Gennady Seleznev, also a Communist, holds out a ray of hope, saying the question of an amnesty for the Chechen leaders should be decided "individually, on a case-by-case basis." (Interfax, October 10) This may provide Moscow with a way out of its present awkward position vis-a-vis the Chechen leaders with whom, whether it likes it or not, it has to do business.

Kulikov Calls for All-Russian Referendum on Chechnya.