Idigov Ahyad : Thank you for inviting the Chechen delegation to your meeting. President Aslan Maskhadov sent me here, realizing the importance of a political solution of the conflict in relations with Russia with the direct participation of the West in this process, we consider the work of the OWG as the beginning of the work to achieve peace with the participation of these three parties, without which it is not possible to achieve stability in general and in perspective. Of course, a significant disadvantage of the formation of the Joint Working Group, according to the PACE decision, is that today, under the pretext that the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, in violation of international law, is an unrecognized state, our parliamentarians do not have been included in this important international body. If there are militarily opposing entities, the denial of the right of one of them to participate in the peace process is an unacceptable discrimination, in our case this happens in relation to the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. We hope that the misunderstanding will be corrected soon. We have already presented proposals from the Chechen side to PACE on this.
As we know, the OWG should contribute to the implementation of resolutions no. 1444 and n. 1456 of 2000. and resolution no. 1221 of the same year, as well as some similar documents adopted at other times on the military situation in Chechnya. The resolutions call for peace between the belligerents and also indicate that Russia, a member of the Council of Europe, should follow the principles of this organization and not hesitate to find a political solution to the question. At the same time, they also ask the Chechen side for political dialogue, expressing protest against terrorism and extremism. You know that the president of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria Maskhadov has declared his willingness to sit at the negotiating table, following the deliberations of the PACE , without any preconditions. However, this political process of peaceful settlement of the issue is interrupted by the Russian Federation-Russia. We ask: what will we do next? Will we call those who disturb the order in the European home to order, or will we say: “Everything is lawful for Russia”? This may therefore mean that the Council of Europe grants permission for violations of a similar nature to all other states. This may also mean that the Council of Europe no longer follows its basic principles.
Parliamentary gentlemen! The Chechen Republic of Ichkeria is part of Europe. More than 40 European commissions have visited Chechnya since the beginning of the second Russo-Chechen war. What have they done? Nothing has been done, people have been killed, tortured in concentration camps and all this is continuing …
I take this opportunity to hand over to the Secretary General of PACE Haller Bruno a document with my powers from President A. Maskhadov . Here too I offer a statement by the president of my country, Aslan Maskhadov , on the situation in and around Chechnya. In the statement, as can be seen, there are proposals on the world negotiation process between the Chechen Republic-Ichkeria and the Russian Federation-Russia. I am pleased to have the opportunity to present to you the legislative basis for the formation of the Chechen state since the collapse of the USSR. Along with this, I will try to present to you our vision of a way out of the deadlock in relations between Chechnya and Russia. All of this is of fundamental importance to us, since Russian propaganda brings false information to the whole world about the alleged illegality of the Chechen government’s actions.
Before the collapse of the Soviet Union (December 1991), the autonomous republics were transformed into union republics on April 26, 1990, in accordance with the law on the delimitation of powers between the USSR and the subjects of the Federation. And they began to be called the autonomous republics: the Soviet Socialist Republic of North Ossetia, the Soviet Dagestan, the Kalmyk Soviet Socialist Republic , etc. Thus, the republics that formed the USSR became – 35 (15 + 20). At the same time, almost simultaneously, the USSR recognized the independence of the three Baltic republics (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia). The Chechen Republic was the one which, in addition to being renamed a trade union republic, also adopted all the attributes of an independent state. And he completed this process with the adoption of the Constitution on March 12, 1992. Everything was rigorously verified with international law, the laws of the RSFSR and the USSR. Declaration on State Sovereignty of the RSFSR of 12 June 1990.
And on March 31, 1992, when the Federal Treaty on the formation of a new state of the Russian Federation was signed – Russia between the RSFSR and the new union republics of the USSR, Chechnya did not participate in it.
On March 12, 1992, the Chechen Republic adopted a new constitution for an independent democratic state. All these processes took place in a coherent and peaceful way, although times were turbulent. Of course, they debated whether it was necessary to act in this way, because everyone in the world knows that Chechnya was included in the Russian Empire due to the colonial war. But the point was that the Russian empire – the USSR had collapsed. This gave them the right to self-determination. The very idea of independence was born because it is so far the only known mechanism in the world through which more or less all people can guarantee their safety. This is the main reason why the Chechen people were guided in choosing the right to build their own independent state.
After the end of the game in the “legal state” in the Russian Federation, the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR was dissolved in October 1993. The new constitution of the Russian Federation was adopted illegally, arbitrarily inscribing an independent Chechen state! Basically, a “rule” was established in the constitution of the Russian Federation-Russia, which made it possible to wage war against an entire people, which is contrary to international law. It became clear that the new Russian Federation-Russia had deviated from the legal norms it was supposed to follow. Everything proceeded according to a new circle of imperial traditions, and this required the image of the enemy. The authorities have chosen the Chechen people as guilty of all the problems and shortcomings in the Russian Federation-Russia. And it will serve (according to them) as a unifying principle in the rebirth of the empire.
Hence the provocations of the Russian special services against the Chechen Republic until 1995, to start the first war, the explosions of houses in Moscow and other cities in the period 1996-1999, to start the second phase of the war. The Russian government needs war, so it continues to maintain the military situation in Chechnya, so the Russian Federation-Russia does not seek peace and refuses it to the West, which here wants stability in order to obtain favorable conditions for investments. But the Russian Federation-Russia is against it, so the war will continue until it becomes unprofitable for the Kremlin leadership, or until the West seriously demands an end to the genocide of the Chechen people and the establishment of peace on the basis of international law.
This is where, in our view, the roots of this bloody war lie. Any other peace-seeking method, regardless of the above, is doomed to fail early, as it provokes a new round of warfare, which plays into the game of the Russian army and Moscow itself as a whole. Flirting with numerous third and fourth forces means ignoring the resolution of the question of centuries of confrontation, which begins a new cycle of empire rebirth. And all this is an attempt to escape the solution of the problem of stability in the Caucasus. If the OWG can focus its attention on the areas that President Maskhadov talks about in his statement, the work of this respected international group of parliamentarians can be effective.
At the same time, we recognize that in all actions taken by the Chechen side to seek peace, there may be errors. In the course of the hostilities caused by the Russian aggression against Chechnya, there may be violations by the Chechen defense forces, and we do not approve of that. However, I would like to express myself on this in the words of Lohman Dietrich (Human Rights Watch), who gave a conference in the English Parliament on 28 February this year, in which I attended, as well as Lord Judd, who is here. These words were as follows: “The number of violations by Chechen fighters is negligible compared to what Russian troops are doing.”
I’m trying to talk about the fundamental things that everything else depends on.
How the OWG will act: the near future will show it and our collaboration with you in the future will depend on it. I wish it were fruitful and useful ….
Furthermore, Mr. Idigov spoke about the work done by the Parliament and the President of Chechnya in search of peace. On the creation and functioning in England of the “International Campaign for Peace and Human Rights in Chechnya” … He outlined the position of President A. Maskhadov and the Parliament on the events taking place in Chechnya.