Preparations for a meeting between Presidents Boris Yeltsin of Russia and Aslan Maskhadov of Chechnya are underway and the meeting is expected to take place soon after Yeltsin’s anticipated return to Moscow on August 4. Yeltsin plans to offer Chechnya an agreement along the lines of that signed with Tatarstan in 1994 (NTV, July 31), despite the fact that Chechnya has already rejected this variant many times. Maskhadov says he will propose a full-scale interstate treaty putting relations between the two entities on the level of those between two independent states. (Itar-Tass, July 30) Security Council secretary Ivan Rybkin reiterated yesterday that such a treaty is unacceptable to Russia, which does not intend to discuss Chechnya’s status before December, 2001. (NTV, July 31) It is not easy to see how the those positions will be reconciled, but at least the two sides are talking to one another despite Maskhadov’s recent threat to break off communication.
Also high on Yeltsin’s agenda when he gets back to Moscow will be the situation in North Ossetia. Yeltsin has ordered his staff to prepare a decree outlining urgent measures to try to defuse the conflict between local Ossetian residents and Ingush refugees seeking to return to their homes in North Ossetia’s Prigorodny District. Yeltsin is expected to meet with the presidents of both North Ossetia and Ingushetia next week. (NTV, July 31)
Russian Counterintelligence Claims Successes.