Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 189

The latest round of Russian-Chechen talks has begun in Dagomys. The Russian delegation is headed by Security Council secretary Ivan Rybkin, the Chechen delegation by First Deputy Prime Minister Movladi Udugov. (NTV, RTR, October 9) The meeting is taking place despite difficult circumstances. After the expulsion of the Russian representatives from the Chechen capital relations between Moscow and Grozny had worsened precipitously, and the two sides had traded contradictory statements all last week on the subject of preparing a full-scale treaty. As expected, Grozny continued to insist on the signing of a full-scale treaty between Chechnya and Russia. Moscow’s position is that the question of Chechnya’s status is to be postponed until 2001, and that there is therefore no need to make ultimatums on this point today. (Russian news agencies, October 9)

According to Rybkin, the Russian delegation will raise the issue of two FSB officers allegedly being detained on Chechen territory. As regards the expulsion of the Russian representatives from Grozny, the Security Council secretary thinks they can be dispensed with. Rybkin pointed out that five Chechen representatives are in Moscow. In Rybkin’s opinion, Russian and Chechen officials of equal rank should meet directly with each other, minister to minister. (RTR, October 9) The present meeting is unlikely to end in the signing of any significant documents. But it is instructive that, despite the earlier acrimony, both Moscow and Grozny are interested in continuing their dialogue.

Kulikov Warns of "Criminal Invasion" of Dagestan.