Djohar-gala is accusing Russia of dragging its feet in restoring the Chechen sector of the oil pipeline through which oil from Baku is due to be exported to Europe. The complaint was voiced by Chechen vice president Vakha Arsanov when he met Azerbaijani president Haidar Aliev in Baku on August 25. Restoration of the Chechen sector of the pipeline at Russia’s expense is envisaged in the tripartite agreement on oil transit signed on July 12 by Moscow, Djohar-gala, and Baku. (See Monitor, July 14) Having evidently despaired of getting any money directly from Moscow, Djohar-gala seems to have successfully solicited Baku’s support. Aliev expressed concern at the delay in repairing the Russian section of the pipeline and ordered Azerbaijani deputy premier Abbas Abbasov to contact the Russian government in order "to speed up implementation of the tripartite agreement." (RTR, August 25)
Aliev stressed that Baku is fulfilling its obligations under the agreement and that the section of the pipeline which passes through Azerbaijani territory is completely ready. "The international oil consortium has spent about $50 million on this work," Aliev said. He also expressed satisfaction with the increase in communications between Azerbaijan and Chechnya, including railroad and automobile transportation. (RTR, August 25) During the war, the Chechen section of the railroad that links Russia and Azerbaijan was not functioning, and the Chechen sector of the Rostov-Baku highway was virtually unusable.
Chechnya Investigates Ransom Charges.