Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 30

The chairman of Dagestan’s State Council, Magomedali Magomedov, and Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov met in Grozny on February 12. Agreeing that the border between their two republics should be kept open, the two leaders pledged to join forces in the battle against terrorism, banditry and kidnapping. (RTR, NTV, February 12) So far, hardly any serious cases of cross-border crime (acts of terrorism, kidnappings) have been solved in either Chechnya or Dagestan. There is little reason to hope that this latest agreement will bring about an appreciable improvement in the situation. The meeting did not achieve Makhachkala’s hopes for it. The Monitor’s correspondent has learned from the Dagestani State Council’s press center that Magomedov had hoped to persuade Maskhadov to sign an agreement on friendship and cooperation between the two republics. He failed to do so because Grozny argues that, while Chechnya is an independent state, Dagestan is merely a subject of the Russian Federation. This means that Makhachkala could sign a bilateral agreement only with an individual district of Chechnya, not with the Chechen government itself. Such an agreement would not carry enough weight to tackle the issues at stake between the two republics.

Russians and Ukrainians Argue Over Cause of Aircraft Crash.