As the peace talksresumed in Grozny July 6–they continue July 7–confusion reignedin Russian ranks over what to do next. Presidential spokesmanSergei Medvedev disowned Russian negotiator Arkady Volsky’s claimthat Yeltsin would reverse his decree on basing Russian troopsin Chechnya, Russian television reported July 6. Kremlin sourcestold Interfax that the decree would likely be expandedto allow Moscow to put interior and border guards troops in Chechnyaas well. Volsky himself phoned defense minister Pavel Grachevto apologize for Volskiy’s critical remarks about Grachev’s statementthat the Chechens were not negotiating in good faith. On the Chechenside, there was also some confusion about the various channelsin which the talks are taking place–in Grozny, in Moscow anddirectly between Chechen president Dzhokhar Dudayev and SaintPetersburg mayor Anatoly Sobchak–and about several Chechen statementsabout the desirability of restoring the USSR. The Chechens didrelease two Russian prisoners at the start of the July 6 roundand Russian media report that radio contact has been establishedbetween the Russian and Chechen units to prevent conflicts andto speed disarmament. Again on July 6, there was no word on thefate of Fred Cuny, the American aid specialist who has been missingin the region since April 9.
Chernomyrdin Press Secretary Dismisses Basayev’s Latest Threat.