...AS DOES YABLOKO HEAD
In an article published on 10 February in "Novaya gazeta," Grigorii Yavlinskii likewise argues that the planned Chechen referendum should be postponed. Yavlinskii pointed out that half of Chechnya's population still regards Maskhadov as the legitimate president and that most people are not familiar with the content of the new draft basic law. Yavlinskii also expressed concern that European bodies are being excluded from the search for a settlement of the Chechen conflict, as the mandate of the OSCE mission will not be renewed, and Lord Judd's threat to resign should the referendum go ahead as scheduled was used as the rationale for disbanding the PACE-Duma working group on Chechnya. Yavlinskii argued that holding the referendum could exacerbate the situation in Chechnya and could trigger new terrorist attacks elsewhere in Russia. He also called for talks among all warring factions in Chechnya and for a peace conference to be chaired by President Putin. LF
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