Russian Interior Minister Sergei Stepashin and Chechen Deputy Prime Minister Kazbek Makhashev met on May 16 in Nazran, capital of Ingushetia, and agreed to sign an agreement on cooperation between Russian and Chechen law enforcement agencies within the next ten days. The agreement will be part of a larger package of arrangements to be signed between Russian and Chechen law enforcement agencies including the Russian Interior Ministry and the Chechen Security Ministry, the justice ministries and the Prosecutor General’s offices. In addition, sixty Chechen police officers are to be sent to Moscow for training. Stepashin and Makhashev confirmed their determination to work together to free those being kept hostage in Chechnya, including presidential envoy Valentin Vlasov, who was abducted on May 1. (Itar-Tass, May 16) Makhashev said that Vlasov’s kidnappers “most likely” were in search of a ransom. This was the opinion expressed last week by Ingushetia’s President Ruslan Aushev, but the claim had until now been denied by Moscow, which insisted not only that no demand had been received but also that it would refuse to pay a ransom to gain Vlasov’s release. (Komsomolskaya pravda, May 14)
SHARIAH SECURITY CHIEF, FORMER FOREIGN MINISTER KILLED IN CHECHNYA.