Russia

2 July 1996 Monitor - Vol.II, No.129

MONITOR - A DAILY BRIEFING ON THE POST-SOVIET STATES

CHECHNYA TALKS "DRIVEN INTO DEAD END." Delegates from Russia met with representatives of the Chechen resistance yesterday but failed again to establish a mechanism for implementing the Moscow and Nazran armistice agreements. Several working groups held sessions at which they continued to disagree on the procedure of exchanging forcibly held persons, the delimitation of the two sides' respective zones of control, and how to define special operations, unlawful possession of arms, and demilitarization. Chechen delegate Kazbek Makhashev said afterward that the talks "are being driven into a dead end."

The OSCE's Chechnya mission issued a statement in which it chastised the Chechen side for its demand two days previously that Moscow dismiss the "puppet" Grozny authorities and change the composition of its delegation to the talks. The OSCE mission said it felt that such demands interfere with the course of negotiations.

The Chechen side continues adhering to the armistice in the belief, as field commander and delegate to the armistice talks Ahmed Zagaev said yesterday, that "the current personnel changes initiated by Aleksandr Lebed in Moscow may result in the formation of a presidential team capable of ending this war." The resistance is making no attempt to interfere with the holding of the second round of Russia's presidential election, which begins in Chechnya today one day ahead of schedule.(Itar-Tass, Interfax, NTV, July 1).