President Imammali Rakhmonovwill meet opposition leader Said Abdullo Nuri in Kabul May 17, Itar-Tassreported. This fourth round of talks–the first at this level–was to havetaken place in Moscow in January 1995, but the opposition refused to attendbecause it said that the Russians were not neutral in the conflict. Over theweekend, however, fighting between the two sides increased, the Russianagency said, raising the possibility that the planned meeting may not takeplace. Meanwhile, Russian military authorities have blocked Dushanbe’sefforts to pull a unit–notorious for atrocities in Dushanbe in 1993–from theGorno-Badakhstan region, Express-Chronicle reported (April 27-May 4). Thepaper said that Tajik opposition leaders had said that unless that unit waspulled out, “the clashes there will never end.” Just how real a possibilitythat is was suggested by an April 29 Komsomolskaya pravda report about aTajik convict who had hid out in that region for more than 20 years beforebeing recaptured. These difficulties in the Tajikistan fighting are nowraising questions in Moscow. Moscow radio on May 11 reported Dushanbe’sarrest of a local journalist. And one of Yeltsin’s leading advisors on ethnicissues, Emil Pain, told Ogonek (no. 18) that Moscow would not be willing toimpose “stability ‘at any price'” and urged the withdrawal of all ethnicRussians from the republic.
A New Marshal Plan?