Akhmed Zakayev’s return will benefit Kadyrov

From left: Dukvakha Abdurakhmanov, Ivar Amundsen, Akhmed ZakayevThe chairman of the Chechen parliament, Dukvakha Abdurakhmanov, and the so-called emissary of Chechen separatists, Akhmed Zakayev, have held another round of negotiations in Oslo. Kommersant reports that the two-day negotiations took place under the mediation of the director of the Chechnya Peace Forum, Ivar Amundsen.

The two sides refused to divulge any details about the talks. A source in Abdurakhmanov’s entourage said the two sides discussed the chances of “inter-Chechen consensus.” Abdurakhmanov and Zakayev intend to release a joint statement about the results of the negotiations today. Zakayev may announce his return to Chechnya.

Alexei Malashenko, North Caucasus expert at the Carnegie Moscow Center, said the aim of the talks was, most likely, to persuade Zakayev to return to Chechnya. In Malashenko’s opinion, Zakayev’s return will make the Chechen president, Ramzan Kadyrov, the “leader of all Chechens.” Zakayev may have been offered an official post either inside or outside Chechnya.

The regime in Grozny began its advanced towards Zakayev a year ago. Quite recently, Kadyrov confirmed that he is in talks with Zakayev. “If he is told now that I am waiting for his call, he will call me. He will tell me that he is ready to return. That is how good relations we have,” Kadyrov said. He has offered Zakayev a post in the Chechen Ministry of Culture.

Kadyrov pointed out that there are tens of thousands of Chechens living in Europe, and that many Chechen children have been born there. “The West will use the children and send them [to fight] against the Chechen people and Russia. If we do not bring them home now, we will continue to have problems. Zakayev can do that, given that some people still listen to him,” Kadyrov said.


Read more:

Zakayev meets Kadyrov’s officials in Oslo
Finrosforum, 02.07.2009

Ахмед Закаев встретился с Дуквахой Абдурахмановым
Chechenpress, 24.07.2009

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  1. Chechen official says met Zakayev

    A senior Chechen official said on Friday he had held talks in Oslo with prominent separatist figure Akhmed Zakayev in an attempt to win his support for the restive Russian province’s pro-Kremlin leadership.

    Zakayev represents the moderate wing of the separatist movement and has no real influence on insurgents in Chechnya. But any definite statement of support for the Kremlin-backed government would mark a psychological victory for Moscow.

    “We met with him and achieved one main goal … the consolidation of Chechen society,” the speaker of Chechnya’s parliament Dukvakha Abdurakhmanov told Reuters by telephone.

    Abdurakhmanov did not say what practical decisions were achieved at the meeting. He declined to comment on media reports that Zakayev would announce his return to the province, which has faced a surge in violence in recent months.


  2. This is a news release from AP, including some interesting comments (embolded below) by the figures involved in this play:
    – What are “the two sides”? Zakayev represents himself; his “government” consisting of 4 out of 61 MP’s has largely already installed themselves as Kadyrov’s lapdogs in Grozny.
    – “Not a peace agreement” but an intention? Apparently, not a single freedom fighter in North Caucasus obeys Zakayev.
    – “The meetings are approved by Putin”. These guys, who frequently accuse their opponents of being FSB agents, are now proud of having approval for their actions by Putin!
    – Every Chechen person “should take part in them”. I suggest a telephone conference, so that the London-based Euroichkeria ends it “activities” the same ludicrous way it all started!

    The dogs bark but the caravan moves on!

    Chechen gov’t, separatist leaders meet for talks

    OSLO 24 July 2009—A Chechen separatist leader and a senior representative of the regional government said Friday they have met for talks in an effort to bring stability to the war-scarred Russian region.

    Rebel envoy Akhmed Zakayev and Dukuvakha Abdurakhmanov, chairman of the Chechen regional parliament, gave few details about the meetings in the Norwegian capital. They also remained tightlipped when asked whether the talks had yielded any concrete results.

    Norwegian mediator Ivar Amundsen, director of the Chechnya Peace Forum—a human rights group—said it was the first political talks between the two sides in eight years.

    “It’s a promising start,” he told The Associated Press. “This is not a peace agreement, but it’s an intention. … The talks have been very constructive and very positive.”

    Amundsen said further talks were planned in London in the next two weeks, with more people involved. Amundsen also said that other parties “may have been” involved in the Oslo talks, but refused to elaborate.

    Zakayev, who lives in London, said he represents the political faction of Chechnya’s separatist movement and has no connection to the military wing that is spearheading the insurgency there.

    “I would like to express delight that this has taken place,” Zakayev said through a translator. “I’m strongly convinced that every Chechen person should be well aware of the processes that are taking place, and should take part in them.”

    Abdurakhmanov, who was representing the Kremlin-backed government of President Ramzan Kadyrov, said talks had centered on “political stability in the Chechen republic and the final consolidation of Chechen society.”

    Ahead of the Friday’s announcement, Abdurakhmanov traveled to Moscow for what Amundsen described as “consultations” with the Kremlin. The Norwegian mediator said the meetings had been approved by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

    Chechnya was devastated by two separatist wars in the past 15 years. It’s more peaceful under Kadyrov, who was nominated by the Kremlin, but violence has increased in recent months.

    Human rights activist Natalya Estemirova was abducted July 15 outside her home in Chechnya and found dead later that day. Estemirova was renowned for her investigations of rights abuses in Chechnya.

    Colleagues at Estemirova’s rights group, Memorial, blame Kadyrov for her death, saying he rules a region where abuses by authorities are an everyday occurrence and are committed with impunity.


  3. This is interesting: “we came to an understanding on all of the issues“. What were the issues? About what kind of flat and car Kadyrov will present Zakayev? Agreement about the necessity to burn houses and murder political opponents and human rights defenders?

    Talks with Chechen separatist leader to continue in London

    Consultations with Chechen separatist leader Akhmed Zakayev are scheduled to continue in a week or two in London, the speaker of Chechnya’s parliament said on Friday after talks in Oslo. Dukvakha Abdurakhmanov said the talks in Britain, where Zakayev lives in self-imposed exile, will include members of the Chechen diaspora in Europe and social organizations from Chechyna.

    “During our two-day meeting we discussed issues with Zakayev in regard to the consolidation of Chechen society and its reaching complete political stability, and we came to an understanding on all of the issues,” Abdurakhmanov said. “Consultations will continue in a week or week and a half in London in a broader format.”

    “We came to the opinion that Chechens need to solve all issues collectively, regardless of where they are living, and that they need to unite their efforts to bring peace and stability to the motherland,” Abdurakhmanov said. He said they did not discuss Zakayev’s return to Chechnya, but quoted Zakayev as saying that wherever he is, his soul is always in Chechnya.


  4. Mayrbek Taramov, journalist and official representative of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (ChRI) in Sweden, said: “I cannot understand and cannot explain the negotiations of Zakayev and Saralyapova with the speaker of the parliament of the Chechen puppets on the background of the assassination of Natalia Estemirova.”

    Rubati Mitsayeva, first deputy representative of ChRI in Poland, told that representatives of ChRI had a meeting with Zakayev before the negotiations started. They refused to be a part of these negotiations, and called on Zakayev to change his opinion. However, Zakayev promised that he would not go back to Chechnya, but said that they had to speak with the puppet regime.

    Mayrbek Vatchagaev, historian and former press spokesman of late ChRI President Aslan Maskhadov, said: “It is hard to comment on this issue because it is not clear what is their aim. We just have to wait. But I guess it seems that Zakayev is going back to the homeland.”


  5. I fully agree with Taramov’s words, but he is no official representative of ChRI. Zakayev’s “government”; the so-called London-based euroichkerian group is no heir of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria – not legally nor morally. This group is just a self-appointed unofficial sewing circle which apparently, in view of recent information, also has been duped by their “chairman” Zakayev. Did you notice that Zakayev in the press release on Friday already stopped talking about ChRI and calling himself “Chairman of the ChRI government”, now he has stepped down to being just “a representative of the Maskhadov continuation government”? Well, President Maskhadov himself did appoint completely other persons to continue his work, and this real Chechen leadership is still at work in the mountains of North Caucasus.

  6. Kadyrov favors Zakayev’s return

    “[Zakayev] is the only man on the part of Ichkeria who I would like to bring back home. I do not know what the competent bodies think, but I believe he did not commit serious crimes. He is an actor who can talk nicely,” Kadyrov said.


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