Friday, February 11, 2005

Agenda for Peace Negotiations in Chechnya?

‘The Christian Science Monitor’ published an article “Calm before the Chechen storm?
Rebels urge Russia to peace talks before Feb. 22 cease-fire deadline” by Fred Weir. The usual stuff about Chechnya:

“Few see much hope of ending the Chechen war, now well into its sixth year,
unless there is a political breakthrough that sees the Kremlin, the separatist
rebels, and pro-Moscow Chechen forces sit down together to seek a settlement.
<…> "If our Kremlin opponents are reasonable, this war will end at the
negotiating table," he told the Moscow daily Kommersant, in a rare interview
published Monday. "If not, blood will continue to be spilled for a long time but
we will reject any moral responsibility for this continued madness." <…>
Mr. Basayev declared: "We are planning more Beslan-type operations in future
because we are forced to do so."

Now there is just one question that is never (!) discussed in articles like that – what should be the agenda of the peace negotiations everyone is forcing the Russian government into? Ok. Maskhadov and Putin sit down together at the negotiation table. The goal is clear and simple – to stop the war. Now I would like to think consider different scenarios that would help to reach this goal.
1. Remove all troops and make Chechnya independent. Will this bring peace? First, if we believe that in Chechnya there are different fractions of separatists, like ‘moderate’ Maskhadov and ‘radical’ Basayev then it’s evident that they will start a war between each other. That’s simply because ‘democratic’ Maskhadov should arrest Basayev to try him for his terrorist attacks in Beslan and Dubrovka (Moscow)? Or wouldn’t he? If Maskhadov leaves Basayev and his bandits in peace then it could only mean that he supports the worst forms of terrorism when innocent children are murdered in the name of “freedom”? Will Basayev surrender himself when Russian troops leave? Or commit a suicide? Or becomes a monk? I doubt it strongly. The most obvious answer – Basayev will try to get power and make Chechnya a fundamentalist Islam “republic” – a safe heaven for bin Laden and al Quada. So, a new bloody war will start. Second, will Kadyrov clan agree to pass the power in Chechnya to Maskhadov? No matter what newspapers say, the Kadyrovs is not just a group of pro-Kremlin collaborators. It’s a very big clan that includes hundreds of families related to each other. During the first Chechnya war (1994-1996) the Russian government didn’t want any clan to rule Chechnya. This time they changed their minds. What does it mean? There will be another war – between Kadyrov clan and Maskhadov clan (or clans) – and against Basayev bandits as well.
2. Chechnya stays within Russian borders and gets a lot of autonomy. Maskhadov always says that it’s absolutely unacceptable but let’s imagine that he compromises. So what? Chechnya already has a lot of autonomy, like no other region in the RF. The only difference is that this autonomy is enjoyed only by Kadyrov clan and they will never ever surrender. The moment Maskhadov becomes the head of Chechnya, Kadyrov’s guys turn into “freedom fighters”. Next moment the journalists from the CSM would demand that Putin should start peace negotiations with 'moderate' Kadyrov to stop the war. Is it possible that Maskhadov and Kadyrov make peace? The answer is – never ever. The only peaceful solution in this case means dividing region into something like Eastern Chechnya (Kadyrov), Western Chechnya (Maskhadov) and Northern Chechnya (to the North of the Terek River) that is strongly against both guys.
Not matter how responsible Chechen negotiators will be they will never manage to pacify terrorists, disarm fundamentalists, and guarantee the security of Chechnya regions. In 1996 Maskhadov promised that from now on Chechnya would be an example of peace and stability. Two years later it became the second largest (after Afghanistan) terrorists training center.


Andy said...

Hi. Great site and an interesting post on Chechnya. I've posted some further thoughts of my own at Siberian Light:

Anonymous said...

I think Chechens always have requested fpr international obeservers and peacekeepers to be deployed in their country. That might be most realistic scenario 3).

Aleksandr said...

>>I think Chechens always have requested fpr international obeservers and peacekeepers to be deployed in their country. That might be most realistic scenario<<No it is not for the reason there is no country of Chechnya. Never was. Never will be.There is just one country-Russia-and Russia has not and will not request international interference so I will tell you that your scenario is not realistic at all.

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