North Ossetian president Akhsarbek Galazov yesterday called for a meeting of the heads of the Russian Federation’s constituent republics in the North Caucasus and the presidents of the three Transcaucasus countries, to be chaired by Boris Yeltsin, in an effort to search for a comprehensive solution to the conflicts in the entire Caucasus region. Galazov offered to host the meeting in his republic’s capital Vladikavkaz and pointed to North Ossetia as being affected by various conflicts raging in the region. (Itar-Tass, April 22)
Recent events in North Ossetia seem to bear Galazov out. At least five were killed and 11 injured in a time bomb explosion at the Vladikavkaz railway station; the bomb’s suspected targets were refugees from South Ossetia. Two Internal Affairs Ministry officers and one civilian officer were killed, and one officer and 10 civilians injured, as a result of an attack by suspected Chechen gunmen on a North Ossetian oil refinery. Two ethnic Ingush were killed in an apparent attack by North Ossetians opposed to the repatriation of Ingush refugees who fled North Ossetia in 1992. A blast at the TV center was ruled an accident. (Itar-Tass, Interfax, April 17-20) Previous blasts have damaged the main Sunni mosque in Vladikavkaz and the monument to friendship with Russia in that city’s center. Most of the attacks are seen as aimed at unsettling North Ossetia’s ethnic and religious communities, including Ingush, Sunni Moslems, Russians, South Ossetians.
Agreements Signed with European Union.