Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov is in Baku to celebrate the birthday of Azerbaijani President Haidar Aliev. Maskhadov announced that a street in the Chechen capital of Djohar will be named after Aliev. He also presented his host with a pistol. “I went through the whole war (which we won, thanks be to Allah) with this pistol. I haven’t fired a single shot with it, and I hope that you won’t have to either,” Maskhadov told Aliev. (NTV, May 9)
During the war in Chechnya, arms shipments came regularly across the Azerbaijani-Russian border en route to the Chechen resistance forces. There has been speculation in the Russian and foreign press that the Chechen resistance enjoyed the tacit support of Baku. The Chechen government’s decision to name a street in the capital after Haidar Aliev and Maskhadov’s symbolic gift of a pistol may be seen as indirect confirmation of this hypothesis.
CIS REFORM: TOWARD AN “EMPIRE OF THE EQUALS.