Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 9

In Moscow for meetings of the Duma-PACE joint Working Group on Chechnya, Lord Judd maintained on March 21 during an interview with Ekho Moskvy Radio: “You can’t resolve the situation [in Chechnya] without a political settlement. Maskhadov is the political reality of today’s Chechnya. If you search for a political solution without his participation, it will simply not be a political solution.” President Putin’s human rights representative in Chechnya, Vladimir Kalamanov, then accused Judd of “playing political games,” insisting that ordinary Chechens did not support Maskhadov and instead wanted “law and order” provided by the Russians (Agence France Presse, March 21). On the same day, Russian presidential spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembskii took exception to a statement by Lord Judd that the upcoming PACE spring session ought to consider how to guarantee the prosecution of persons responsible for the violation of human rights in Chechnya. “Either Lord Judd does not formulate his idea accurately enough,” Yastrzhembsky declared, “or this is an attempt to lead matters to the formation of a certain international tribunal for Chechnya, similar to the international tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. If the latter is true, I have to disappoint the lord and those whose ideas he is expressing. Chechnya is not Bosnia or Kosovo, and Russia is not the former Yugoslavia, no matter how [much] someone would like it to be so.” Yastrzhembsky termed the idea of an international tribunal and the idea of “mediation in Chechnya” by bodies such as PACE “senseless and hopeless” (Interfax, March 21).