Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 104

The Russian military command announced in Grozny September 28 that 8,000 Interior Ministry troops and 5,000 Defense Ministry troops have been withdrawn from Chechnya. According to the deputy commander of Russian forces,Maj.-General Pavel Maslov, the pullout took place mainly from the Nozhai-Yurt area, in accordance with the military accord signed on July 30. President Boris Yeltsin’s special envoy, Russian security council secretary Oleg Lobov said that neither he nor other Russian officials in Chechnya plan to meet with Chechen president Dzhokhar Dudayev. Without ruling out such a meeting, Lobov opined that Dudayev’s chances of playing a role in the peace process are on the decline and will decrease further as the republic’s economy is rebuilt. Lobov was referring to direct Russian-Chechen negotiations, as distinct from a roundtable of political forces which the top Russian negotiators and pro-Moscow Chechens are redoubling efforts to organize, seeking to include Dudayev and his delegates in that format. Dudayev’s spokesman Movladi Udugov indicated that his side would join talks but not in the roundtable format (which the Dudayev side considers designed to equate minuscule pro-Moscow groups with his government). Akhyad Idigov, chairman of the pro-Dudayev parliament of Chechnya, urged the U.N. and foreign parliaments to send observer missions to monitor the implementation of the Russian-Chechen armistice agreement. Idigov said that Chechnya is prepared to settle for "peaceful coexistence" with Russia in the framework of the Commonwealth of Independent States. This represents a reiteration of a proposal recently developed by the Dudayev side. Moscow is highly unlikely to accept it because it would formalize Chechnya’s secession from the Russian Federation. On the military front the situation continued to calm down, as Russian forces lost only one killed September 28. (1)

Russia Has Own Reasons for Opposing Bosnian Serb Secession.