Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 216

Security Council secretary Ivan Rybkin met on November 16 with Akhmed Zakaev, an aide to Chechen president Zelimkhan Yandarbiev, to prepare for the signing of an agreement by the Russian and Chechen prime ministers. "We have no disagreements in principle on any of the issues we have defined, and we have prepared a good, solid document which will bring results in the near future," Zakaev said afterwards. In Zakaev’s opinion, this document will serve as the legal basis for relations between Moscow and Chechnya until presidential and parliamentary elections are held in the republic on January 27. As stipulated in the agreement, Russian and Chechen legislation will coexist on Chechen territory until that date. According to Rybkin, the time and place of the agreement’s signing were not discussed at the meeting. (RTR, November 16)

On the eve of the November 16 meeting Chechen resistance leaders had stressed that they would sign only economic, but not political agreements. (See Monitor, November 15) Since both sides emerged satisfied from the meeting, it can be surmised that Rybkin must have made some concessions to Grozny. The decree signed November 16 by Doku Zavgaev, head of Chechnya’s pro-Moscow government, disbanding his cabinet of ministers, is an indirect confirmation of this. (RTR, November 16) Zavgaev, who is completely dependent on the Russian leadership, must have taken this step under Russian pressure.

Successful Outcome to Russian-Japanese Talks.