Kadyrov proposes Abkhaz model for Chechnya

Zhaloudi SaralyapovThe pro-Moscow dictator of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, has suggested that Russia would recognise Chechen independence according to the model of Georgia’s breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, said Zhaloudi Saralyapov, chairman of the parliament of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (ChRI).

Russia fought a brief war with Georgia in August 2008 for control of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, previously autonomous regions of Georgia. The war left both territories under effective Russian occupation, with thousands of Russian troops deployed there.

Abkhazia and South Ossetia declared independence from Georgia in 1991. Russia recognised both states after the war with Georgia, but the final status of the two republics remains undecided. Most residents of both Abkhazia and South Ossetia have held Russian citizenship for several years.

Zhaloudi Saralyapov said Kadyrov’s representatives had made the suggestion regarding the “Abkhaz model” in talks with the self-appointed prime minister of ChRI, Akhmed Zakayev, WaYNaKH Online reported. In a statement published on Daymohk.info, Saralyapov dismissed Zakayev’s exile government, accusing Zakayev of trying to recognise Kadyrov’s regime.

The Government of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (ChRI), headed by its chairman Akhmed Zakayev, has recently conducted so-called consultations with the chairman of the puppet parliament of the Chechen Republic, Dukvakha Abdurakhmanov.

At a joint session of the Parliament and the Government of the ChRI, Zakayev informed that the representatives of Ramzan Kadyrov had approached him with an initiative to unite around the idea that the independence of the ChRI would be recognised by Russia according to the Abkhazian and South Ossetian model.

This initiative was supported by the participants of the session, who consented that Zakayev should conduct consultations about this question. He did not have other mandates from the ChRI Parliament.

However, Zakayev transgressed his mandate and recognised the legitimacy of the Kremlin’s puppet regime, and thus violated Article 1 of the Constitution of the ChRI.

Based on the foregoing and according to Article 62 of the Constitution of the ChRI, the Parliament of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria has decided:

1. to dismiss Akhmed Zakayev and the entire Cabinet of Ministers led by Akhmed Zakayev;

2. to announce the new composition of the Cabinet of Ministers and its head at a later time.

The decree comes into force at the moment of its publishing.

Chairman of the Parliament of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria
Zhaloudi Saralyapov

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  1. Ramzan Kadyrov’s suggestion of indepencence for Chechnya according to the Abkhaz and South Ossetian model is a mangled variant of the idea of “conditional independence” (Russian: условная независимость) that the Chechen separatists put forward some years ago.

    Kadyrov has thus made an apparent volte-face. In September 2008, after Moscow had recognised the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, he declared that the question of Chechen independence was not on the agenda.

    In 2003, Chechen foreign minister Ilyas Akhmadov drafted a proposal to grant Chechnya conditional independence under UN administration. According to the proposal, this would have guaranteed Chechnya’s democratic development and stability in North Caucasus.

    The idea of “conditional independence” has since been rejected by leaders of Chechnya’s independence movement. It is interesting, however, what this suggestion says about Moscow’s plans for North Caucasus, and specifically for Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

    If the Kremlin is suggesting “conditional independence” (i.e. nominal recognition under actual occupation) to Chechnya, then it may be that Moscow has no intention –at least for now– to make Abkhazia and South Ossetia into subjects of the Russian Federation.

    By declaring Kadyrov’s Chechnya nominally independent, Moscow could then wash its hands from what is happening there. However, under international law, an occupying power is responsible for the safety of the population in the territories it controls (cf. Sabra and Shatila).

  2. Read more on the failure to find a negotiated solution to the conflict in Chechnya:

    Chechnya: The Turning Point That Wasn’t
    Liz Fuller, 11.05.2007

    “The international community must recognize the independence of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria”
    Akhmet Malsagov, 01.02.2004

    Olivier Dupuis: EU has to back establishment of interim UN administration in Chechnya
    The Chechen Times, 13.02.2004

    Russia’s U-Turn Toward Zakayev
    Aslan Dukaev, 17.08.2009

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