Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 5 Issue: 37

Russia won a partial victory last week in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which passed a resolution calling for a political settlement of the conflict in the North Caucasus. At the Russian delegation’s insistence, the final text included a provision accepting that peace negotiations need not include “persons who refuse to recognize the territorial integrity of Russia and who have proclaimed terrorism as a method of achieving their goals.” The resolution also expressed skepticism about Aslan Maskhadov’s insistence that he had nothing to do with the recent terrorist attacks in Russia.

On the other hand, the resolution included several factual findings that directly contradict major points of the Kremlin’s spin on the war. PACE stated that a significant part of the separatist guerrillas’ weapons come from the Russian military itself; that much of the funds intended for the restoration of Chechnya are being embezzled; and that Chechen refugees are being forced against their will to return to their homeland from Ingushetia.