The chairman of Dagestan’s parliament, Mukhu Aliyev yesterday expressed concern that the Russian military "threaten all of us with another Pervomaiskoye" and that the Russian leadership’s "lack of a concept for ending the war in Chechnya" destabilizes the North Caucasus as a whole. Last week Aliyev had warned that public discontent over Moscow’s policy may cause "an outburst of separatist sentiment" in the region. As he was speaking, residents of Dagestan’s Novolak district demonstrated outside the republic’s government building in the capital Makhachkala, demanding the withdrawal of Russian troops which, they said, "extort more fines and bribes now" and fire on villagers and homes. The Baku-Stavropol gas mainline, which crosses Dagestan, was blown up at two points in areas patrolled by Russian troops near the Dagestan-Chechnya border. Repair work is being delayed because approaches to the pipeline have been mined. The planned Baku-Novorossiisk pipeline for Azerbaijani oil would have to cross the same area. (3)
Primakov Says Russia Seeks Close Ties With All Eastern and Central European Nations.