Russia will probably recognize Chechnya’s election as legitimate as soon as the official results are published, Yeltsin press secretary Sergei Yastrzhembsky said yesterday. The Russian leadership is also ready to enter into constructive dialogue on the question of Chechnya’s status within the Russian Federation. According to Yastrzhembsky, the scope of such negotiations could be quite wide. (Interfax, January 30) Russian prime minister Viktor Chernomyrdin spoke even more plainly yesterday of his satisfaction with the election results, and he told a press conference in Bern that there are now good chances that the dialogue can be continued with Chechen president-elect Aslan Maskhadov. (Interfax, January 30)
According to Duma speaker Gennady Seleznev, negotiations between the federal center and Chechnya should resume as soon as Chechnya’s new government is in place. The agenda in those talks will be topped by questions of relations between the Russian and Chechen parliaments, and the restoration of Chechnya’s economy. (Interfax, January 30) "Before the elections, all agreements between Moscow and Grozny were declarative in character. Now that the elections are behind us and the Russian side has no reason to fear that its negotiating partner is an interim figure, the time has come for fruitful work," Vladimir Zorin, chairman of the Duma’s Nationalities Committee, told the Monitor.
Maskhadov Inauguration Set for February 10.