Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 126

Chechnya has taken another step in its effort to gain international recognition. The Chechen Foreign Ministry has requested UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to accept the Chechen Republic as a member.

In addition, the packet of documents addressed to Annan contains a copy of the May 12, 1996 peace treaty between the Russian Federation and the Chechen Republic, a copy of the republic’s constitution and a short history of Chechnya. It includes a commentary on the treaty, written by an American lawyer, Francis Boyle, a law professor at the University of Illinois, which argues that the document is a treaty between two sovereign states. (Kommersant-daily, June 30)

The Russian Foreign Ministry takes a skeptical view of Djohar’s demarche. In an interview with Kommersant-daily, a high-ranking Russian diplomat said that “even the Chechen leaders themselves don’t think this is going to work.” The main requirement for being accepted into the UN is recognition of a country’s sovereignty by most states in the world community. Not a single country has recognized Chechnya. (Kommersant-daily, June 30)

Earlier this week, Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov overruled an attempt by Foreign Minister Movladi Udugov to force the OSCE’s mission to seek Djohar’s authorization to remain in Chechnya. The mission is in the republic under credentials issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry. Udugov said this was unacceptable because “it implies that the Chechen government recognizes the laws of the Russian Federation as applicable in Chechnya.” Udugov was swiftly overruled by Maskhadov, whose press spokesman said the president had no intention of expelling the OSCE from Chechnya, even though he would welcome moves by the mission to coordinate its stay with the Chechen government. (Kommersant-daily, June 30)