Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 1 Issue: 7

On December 5, Boris Nemtsov, leader of the Union of Right Forces faction in the Russian State Duma, met with President Putin and presented his proposals for a political settlement to the conflict in Chechnya. Nemtsov declined to reveal the details of the conversation but observed: “The president understands quite well that it is impossible to resolve the situation in this region with the aid of weapons alone, and that there is a need for a political decision.” In his comments to the press, Nemtsov suggested “a dialogue with the Chechen authorities who are legitimate under Russian legislation.” A governor-general, he added, should be appointed for Chechnya who would “combine the functions of a civil and military administration.” (Presumably this official would be an ethnic Russian.)

The work of the Chechen parliament, which was elected in 1997, Nemtsov said, should be resumed, and a state council ought to be created that takes into consideration “the clan structure of Chechen society.” A parliamentary rather than a presidential republic should be established in Chechnya (Russian agencies, December 5). While one would need to see the details of Nemtsov’s plan to properly to assess it, the spare outline offered to journalists suggests that his plan would be less likely to succeed than that of Emil’ Pain (see Chechnya Weekly, November 29).