Chechnya’s acting Prime Minister Shamil Basaev has threatened to block the Chechen sector of the oil pipeline linking Azerbaijan and the Black Sea, unless Russia delivers promised funding by the end of this month. Basaev said Russia has not complied with any of the agreements signed since the Chechen war ended in 1996. He said Russia has not even paid for the maintenance and security of the oil pipeline. (ORT, June 14) Basaev also announced the establishment of an Islamic peacekeeping brigade to “deal with the problems of Muslims.” He said the move was necessary because the United Nations, the European Union and the OSCE apply double standards to international problems. “These organizations have never defended the interests of Muslim peoples,” Basaev complained. He said the failure of the international community to protect Kosovo’s Albanian population against the Serbian government was the latest example of the inadequacy of the existing system. (Russian agencies, June 14)
BALTIC, NATO DEFENSE MINISTERS SIGN COOPERATION PLANS.