Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 88

Moscow and Djohar-gala are said to be close to agreement on a peace settlement that could be signed later this week at a meeting in Moscow between the Chechen and Russian presidents, Aslan Maskhadov and Boris Yeltsin. Maskhadov’s spokesman, Kazbek Khadzhiev, was in Moscow over the weekend to discuss details. He told journalists that agreement had been reached on all but one article. As before, the sticking point is believed to be the title of the document: the Chechen authorities want it to be called a peace treaty and to include international guarantees. Russia, which considers the conflict an internal affair, wants it to be called a simple agreement. (Reuter, May 4)

The draft was discussed at a meeting of the Russian Security Council in Moscow yesterday. (Itar-Tass, NTV, May 4) Few details were disclosed of the meeting and no firm date for the presidential meeting has been announced, but unconfirmed reports say it could take place as soon as this week. (Interfax, May 2) The two sides are also believed to be discussing a deal on economic issues. Both are keen to reach agreement on the transit of Caspian oil across Chechen territory. Maskhadov has also appealed to Yeltsin to make money available for pensions and health care for Chechen residents and also to allow young Chechens to enroll in Russian higher education establishments in the coming academic year.

…But Agreement Could Still be Derailed.