Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 149

Azerbaijani presidential aides said yesterday that President Heydar Aliyev has complained to the Russian government about recent brutalities committed by Russia’s Internal Affairs Ministry and Moscow police against Azerbaijani traders in Moscow and other Russian cities. The Azerbaijani officials appealed for an end to violence and arbitrary arrests of their compatriots. Azerbaijan’s first deputy prime minister Abbas Abbasov and its Moscow ambassador to Russia Ramiz Rizaev discussed the situation with Russian deputy prime minister Aleksey Bolshakov (responsible for CIS relations) and nationalities minister Vyacheslav Mikhailov at a special meeting in Moscow. The Russian officials promised to curb police excesses.

In Baku last week the police prevented a protest demonstration outside the Russian embassy. (Interfax, July 29 and 30). Russian police and some municipalities, notably that of Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov, sometimes conduct indiscriminate raids against traders from the Caucasus operating food markets in Russia. The Russian government’s anti-Chechen propaganda has tended to encourage prejudice against, and harassment of, those who Russian authorities and citizens often describe with the generic term "persons of Caucasus nationality."

Former Tajik Leaders Offer Alternative to the Regime.