Ingush president Ruslan Aushev proposed May 21 that Russian troops withdrawn from Chechnya in the event of a peace settlement be relocated in North Ossetia’s Prigorodny raion to secure the return of Ingush who have been expelled from their homes there. According to a communique from his office, Aushev extended this "invitation" at a meeting yesterday in Nazran with Vladimir Lozovoy, chairman of the Russian government commission dealing with the Ingush-North Ossetian conflict. Aushev wants the relocation issue discussed at the upcoming Caucasus summit to be chaired by Boris Yeltsin in Vladikavkaz. (Itar-Tass, May 22)
The compact Ingush population of Prigorodny raion was evicted to Ingushetia in 1992 by North Ossetians acting with the support of Russian troops. The Russian government has since consented to the expellees’ repatriation, but has condoned North Ossetian obstruction of the program and its threats to the handful of people who have returned to the area. Prior to the deportation of the Chechen and Ingush populations, the district belonged to the Chechen-Ingush Republic. Ingushetia has criticized Russia’s current war in Chechnya and is concerned by the prospect that Russian troops withdrawn from Chechnya might be relocated on Ingush territory. North Ossetia’s attitude toward the war has been consistent with that republic’s reputation for loyalty to Moscow.
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