Zakaev holding talks with Kadyrov?

Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov’s government is trying to convince the FSB to back off from its accusations of supporting terrorism directed against Akhmed Zakaev, the so-called emissary of Chechen separatists in London.

Lema Gudaev, head of the Chechen government’s information department, expressed doubts about the veracity of claims by the FSB that Zakaev would be planning to send armed fighters to Chechnya and neighbouring Dagestan.

Gudaev alleged that these reports are aimed at smearing Zakaev, whom he calls the “most acceptable” representative of Chechen separatists abroad. He said the claims against Zakaev are aimed at foiling the dialogue between former rebels and the regime in Grozny.

Zakaev himself said he is ready for talks with any interested party, including representatives of Ramzan Kadyrov. Gudaev pointed out that Zakaev has rejected “terrorist means of resistance,” adding that Zakaev does not carry a heavy burden of crimes.

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  1. Akhmed Zakaev’s brother, Budavi Zakaev, returned to Chechnya in the beginning of January 2009. Reports say Ramzan Kadyrov himself guaranteed his safety. Budavi Zakaev said he could vouch that any Chechen refugee returning to Chechnya need not fear for his/her safety.

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