Returning to Grozny from Moscow, Russian-installed Chechen prime minister Doku Zavgayev declared his readiness to meet with Dzhokhar Dudayev in order to accelerate the pace of negotiations toward a political settlement. The statement is one of the most explicit signals yet of Moscow’s readiness to deal with the Chechen leader whom it was earlier this year branding a state criminal liable for the death penalty. A parallel signal to another of Yeltsin’s archenemies, the former Russian parliament chairman Ruslan Khasbulatov, came yesterday from Vladimir Zorin, the acting head of the Russian civilian administration in Chechnya. Zorin publicly invited the ethnic Chechen Khasbulatov to participate in the drafting of Chechnya’s future political status within the Russian Federation. The offers reflect Moscow’s recognition of its failure to subdue Chechnya militarily and its need to push the issue on the back burner during the period of legislative and expected presidential elections. At cross purposes with these offers, Zavgayev’s partner Lecha Magomadov, just installed by Moscow as head of Chechnya’s Committee for National Accord which is intended as an embryonic parliament, announced his candidacy in the Grozny electoral district for Russia’s Duma on behalf of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. (7)
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