Moscow has already rejected another of Maskhadov’s recent initiatives. The Chechen president announced that he had ordered his government to draft an agreement for the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Chechnya and the opening of embassies in Moscow and Djohar-gala. (Russian agencies, July 28) The Russian Foreign Ministry immediately rejected the idea, stating that Chechnya is a subject of the Russian Federation and that there can therefore be no talk of establishing diplomatic relations. The director of the Foreign Ministry’s department on contacts with federation subjects, Valentina Matvienko, said that, in accordance with the norms of international law, diplomatic relations can be established only between independent states. She said Moscow conducts its relations with Djohar-gala on the basis of the August 1996 Khasavyurt accords, which put the issue of Chechnya’s status on ice until 2001. (Russian agencies, July 29)
Row Continues Over Russian Telecoms Auction.