Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 5

On January 29, Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina, Ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, met in Washington with Ilyas Akhmadov, foreign minister of Chechnya’s separatist government. Helms declared inter alia: “Thanks to the broken promises of Vladimir Putin, Russia continues to brutalize the Chechen people, including innocent civilians. Mr. Putin continues his statement that that Russia’s war on Chechnya is similar to our war on terrorism. Today, in a meeting with Foreign Minister Akhmadov, he assured me that he and his president, Aslan Maskhadov, have no ties whatsoever to any international terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida” (Republican Press, January 29).