Chechen president Aslan Maskhadov flew yesterday from Turkey to the U.S., where he is to make a private visit to Washington, DC, at the invitation of the Carnegie Endowment. No official announcement has yet been made about the possibility that he will meet with State Department officials. According to Itar-Tass, however, U.S. government officials insist that Maskhadov will be received as the head of a constituent republic of the Russian Federation. Itar-Tass also reports that State Department officials intend to try to discover the fate of two U.S. citizens — Fred Cuny and Andrew Shumack — who disappeared in Chechnya during its war with Russia. They are also said to want to discuss the work of the OSCE’s assistance group in Grozny. According to Itar-Tass, the U.S. government believes the mission should receive "full support" from the Chechen authorities.
A spokesman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry said yesterday that Maskhadov’s plans had not been coordinated with the Russian government, but that the American side had notified Moscow about Maskhadov’s application for entrance visas for himself and his travel companions. U.S. officials were said to have informed the Chechen delegation that visas could be put only on current Russian passports. (Itar-Tass, November 11)
Council of Europe Delegation Visits Chechnya.