CHECHEN TALKS CONTINUE AS BOTH SIDES HARDEN POSITION.
Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 58
TheGrozny peace talks continued over the weekend with no end in sight,despite Russian suggestions that a political agreement would beinitialed soon. Both sides were hardening their position: on July21, the lead Chechen negotiator said that Chechnya would be independent,and on July 22, Chechen president Dzhokhar Dudayev and his aidessaid on local television that they would never agree to Chechnya’sbeing part of Russia. Meanwhile, Boris Yeltsin phoned the Russiandelegation July 21 to tell them that he did not want to see anymore concessions made to the Chechens. Russian negotiator ArkadyVolsky set off a firestorm of Chechen criticism when he suggestedthat Chechnya had nowhere to go regardless of what the agreementssaid. The Chechen side suggested that these comments would likelyprolong the talks and pointedly noted that neither negotiatingteam had the power to commit its side to what the other partyto the conflict wanted. There was some progress over the lastthree days: the military accord seemed to be working. Violencehas been down, and the two sides have begun to exchange listsof those missing or thought to be incarcerated by the other. Onething that did not change is that there was again no word on thefate of Fred Cuny, the American aid worker who has been missingin the region since April 9.
Yeltsin Leaves Hospital.