Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 93

Russian president Boris Yeltsin and Chechen president Aslan Maskhadov met in the Kremlin this morning and signed a Treaty on Peace and Principles of Mutual Relations between the Russian Federation and the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. (Itar-Tass, May 12) Yeltsin’s decision to press ahead with the signing is bound to be controversial, in light of the fact that seven Russian journalists are still being held captive in Chechnya. But, since both Moscow and Djohar-gala have repeatedly interpreted the recent spate of kidnappings and bombings as deliberate attempts to scuttle the peace process, both sides probably calculate that, once a peace treaty is signed, much of the incentive for further terrorist attacks will disappear.

Maskhadov is also due to meet today with Russian prime minister Viktor Chernomyrdin in order to sign economic agreements on customs and banking. The signing of an agreement on oil refining and petrochemicals, which was originally supposed to have taken place today, has reportedly been postponed "for technical reasons." (Itar-Tass, May 12)

Three More Russian Journalists Kidnapped in Chechnya.