Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 234

A Chechen Information Center opened in Warsaw last week. Representatives of the present Chechen authorities, including First Deputy Premier Khozhakhmet Nukhaev and Minister for Foreign Affairs Ruslan Chimaev attended the opening. Alla Dudaeva, the widow of the former Chechen president, was guest of honor. (NTV, Izvestiya, December 15)

The first Chechen Information Center opened eighteen months ago in Poland’s third largest city, Krakow. The leaders of the Chechen resistance communicated regularly with the information center, which became their main representation abroad. When Moscow protested about the existence of what it said was a virtual embassy of Chechnya-Ichkeria in Poland, the Polish government replied that the decision to open the center was made by the Krakow authorities, and that Warsaw maintained no contacts with it.

According to Chechen sources, similar information centers now exist in 22 countries, including Azerbaijan, Turkey, Ukraine, the Baltic states, Pakistan, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, France and England. Moscow has threatened to break off diplomatic relations with any country that gives diplomatic recognition to Chechnya-Ichkeria and Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already protested the opening of the Warsaw office; the Polish government has again denied any involvement. The Chechen leadership argues that the information centers do not constitute political representation. According to Chechen foreign minister Ruslan Chimaev, "The world is ready to recognize us, but is afraid of Russia." (Izvestiya, December 15)

Environmentalist Charged with Treason is Set Free.