Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 9

In recent comments, leading representatives of the Russian state and of the Chechen separatist leadership have underlined that bilateral negotiations between the two sides have ground to a complete halt. In an interview with Moskovskie Novosti, separatist deputy premier Akhmed Zakaev stated: “After the January session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, my contacts with [Viktor] Kazantsev have not been renewed, and this did not happen at my initiative” (Moskovskie Novosti, March 20). In an interview with RIA Novosti, Kazantsev, the Russian plenipotentiary presidential representative in the Southern Federal District, for his part, made it clear that “there was no sense in further contacts” with Zakaev. Zakaev, he said, was “obviously incapable of influencing developments in the republic” (RIA Novosti, March 15).