Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 102

A top-level meeting between representatives of the Russian Federation and the Chechen resistance, announced by President Yeltsin May 23 and mediated by the OSCE’s Chechnya mission (see Monitor, May 23 & 24), took place in the Kremlin yesterday. A Chechen delegation comprised of acting President Zelimkhan Yandarbiev, Cochairman of the suspended Joint Armistice Commission Hodjahmed Yarikhanov, southwestern front commander Ahmed Zakaev, political advisor Said Abumuslimov, and information minister Movladi Udugov flew to Moscow yesterday from Ingushetia in the airplane of Ingush president Ruslan Aushev. The delegation was accompanied by Aushev.

In the Kremlin, a document stipulating the cessation of hostilities as of 00:00 hours June 1 and an exchange of all prisoners within two weeks was signed by the five Chechen delegates following talks with President Boris Yeltsin who, according to some reports, initialed the document. Signing the agreement for the Russian side were Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, Security Council Chairman Oleg Lobov, nationalities minister Vyacheslav Mikhailov, internal affairs minister Anatoly Kulikov, and Moscow-installed "head" of Chechnya, Doku Zavgaev, as a member of the Russian delegation. Talks on practical aspects of the implementation of the agreement will continue in the Kremlin today.

The future relationship between the federal center and Chechnya was deferred to further talks by mutual consent. The Chechen delegation stressed that it carried a mandate from Chechnya’s State Defense Committee — the highest decision-making body of the resistance, comprising political leaders and military commanders — to conclude yesterday’s agreement. Chief of Staff Aslan Maskhadov was unable to attend because of urgent military business in Chechnya, but approved of the draft agreement. (Russian & Western agencies, May 27)

Defense Ministry on Chechen Peace Talks.