Monday, 10 September 2001

PUTIN READY TO TALK WITH CHECHENS -- IF THEY SURRENDER WEAPONS AND GIVE UP DRIVE FOR INDEPENDENCE

Published in News Digest

By empty (9/10/2001 issue of the CACI Analyst)

Responding to repeated proposals by Boris Nemtsov, the leader of Union of Rightist Forces (SPS), which called for the launching of negotiations on ending the war in Chechnya, President Putin on 7 September said that he agrees that "talks are always better than the use of force," Russian and Western agencies reported. But, he added that Moscow will talk with "anyone" if they agree that the Russian Constitution applies in Chechnya just as it does elsewhere, and if the "rebel formations" unconditionally and immediately disarm themselves and surrender to the federal authorities those "especially notorious rebels whose arms are stained up to their elbows with the blood of Russian people." If Nemtsov or anyone else can "guarantee" those conditions, Putin said, then "let them do it" within a month.
Responding to repeated proposals by Boris Nemtsov, the leader of Union of Rightist Forces (SPS), which called for the launching of negotiations on ending the war in Chechnya, President Putin on 7 September said that he agrees that "talks are always better than the use of force," Russian and Western agencies reported. But, he added that Moscow will talk with "anyone" if they agree that the Russian Constitution applies in Chechnya just as it does elsewhere, and if the "rebel formations" unconditionally and immediately disarm themselves and surrender to the federal authorities those "especially notorious rebels whose arms are stained up to their elbows with the blood of Russian people." If Nemtsov or anyone else can "guarantee" those conditions, Putin said, then "let them do it" within a month. But if they cannot, the Russian president added, "let them stop hustling and bustling on the country's political scene and give up their Duma deputy mandates." (RFE/RL)
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