Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 64

President Mintimer Shaimiev of Tatarstan, who in February published his own plan for a solution to the Chechen conflict, has reacted positively to President Yeltsin’s proposals for ending the war. Shaimiev said he was gratified that Yeltsin had overcome the influence of defense and law enforcement agencies and accepted the possibility of negotiations with Chechen leader Djohar Dudaev. Shaimiev’s aide Rafael Khakimov said that, following the second Hague conference, which was held last week and which produced a ten-point proposal for ending the war based on Shaimiev’s plan, Shaimiev was sure to play a leading role in the search for a peaceful solution.

Acknowledging that the Dudaev side is continuing to insist on full independence which, according to Yeltsin, is not negotiable. Shaimiev advised Chechnya to remain part of Russia but to sign a treaty with the center as did Tatarstan, giving the republic "every possible degree of autonomy." Such an arrangement is in Chechnya’s own best interests, Shaimiev believes. "Tatarstan’s example shows that the main thing is to take and use the powers extended," he said. Russian nationalities minister Viktor Mikhailov, who took part in the conference in The Hague, has also said that the "Tatarstan model" could serve as a model for future relations between Moscow and Chechnya. (NTV, Interfax, April 1)

Europeans React to Peace Plan with Hope and Skepticism.