Russia’s new Interior Minister, Sergei Stepashin, has signed an agreement on fighting crime with Chechnya’s new Minister of Shari’ah National Security, Abu Movsaev. Both men are new brooms. Stepashin, seen as a hawk on the Chechen question since his 1994/95 stint as head of the Federal Security Service, replaced the even more hawkish Anatoly Kulikov at the head of the Interior Ministry in March of this year. Movsaev replaced Islam Khalimov, sacked earlier this month for “not coping” with his duties. (RIA news agency, May 19) Stepashin and the Interior Ministry were this week given responsibility by President Yeltsin for coordinating all Russia’s security efforts throughout the North Caucasus. (RTR, May 27)
The two men signed the agreement yesterday in Nazran, capital of Ingushetia. Cooperation agreements were signed at the same time by the Russian and Chechen prosecutors general, Yuri Skuratov and Hasan Serbiev, and the Russian and Chechen justice ministers, Pavel Krashennikov and Vakha Murtazaliev. (RTR, May 28)
DIFFERENCES AIRED AT RUSSIAN-UKRAINIAN TALKS.