People's gathering in Kizlyar against installment of Chechen road signposts, June 11, 2019. Photo by Ilyas Kapiev for the Caucasian Knot

19 June 2019, 18:06

Statement on suspending demarcation of Dagestani borders raises questions to Kremlin

The office of the Presidential Plenipotentiary in the North-Caucasian Federal District (NCFD) has refused to comment on the statement voiced by Khizri Shikhsaidov, Speaker of the People's Assembly of Dagestan, about the suspension of the demarcation of land between Dagestan and Chechnya. Journalist Maxim Shevchenko sees no logic in the speech delivered by Khizri Shikhsaidov on behalf of Alexander Matovnikov. The Kremlin is trying to smooth out the consequences of the conflict in Kizlyar, suggests political analyst Dmitry Oreshkin.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on June 17, Khizri Shikhsaidov, Speaker of the People's Assembly of Dagestan, reported that Alexander Matovnikov, Presidential Plenipotentiary in the North-Caucasus Federal District, decided to suspend the demarcation of land between Dagestan and Chechnya.

On June 10, residents of Kizlyar demolished a road signpost reading "Shelkovskoy District" in the outskirt of the city. On June 11, Magomed Daudov, Speaker of the Chechen Parliament, who arrived at the scene of the incident with a detachment of armed law enforcers, reprimanded the head of the Kizlyar District and treated the incident as "a mess." On June 12, it became known about the demolition of two other signs installed on the border of Chechnya with the Tarumovka District of Dagestan.

Today, the press service of Alexander Matovnikov, Presidential Plenipotentiary in the NCFD, has refused to comment on the statement voiced by Khizri Shikhsaidov about the Alexander Matovnikov's decision to suspend the border demarcation. The press service noted that they would respond to the request of the "Caucasian Knot" "within the legal deadline."

Journalist Maxim Shevchenko drew his attention to the fact that the Alexander Matovnikov's decision to suspend the border demarcation process was reported not by the Presidential Plenipotentiary himself, but by the Speaker of the Dagestani parliament. "Why does he voice the decision of Alexander Matovnikov? I believe he should speak on behalf of the Dagestani parliament and the people, and not on behalf of the Presidential Plenipotentiary in the region," Maxim Shevchenko told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

Political analyst Dmitry Oreshkin believes it is no coincidence that the Dagestani side, not the Chechen side, reported about the decision of Alexander Matovnikov. "This means that the Alexander Matovnikov's decision is considered by Dagestan as a success. Apparently, it was decided to freeze the agonizing process, which caused serious resistance from the Dagestani side, and to postpone it for an indefinite period. During that time, some moves may be found, that is, they will try to pressure the Dagestani side or make a tempting offer which cannot be refused ... For example, as a solution to the problem, the authorities may consider allocating funding from the federal budget to Dagestan," Dmitry Oreshkin told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

If Alexander Matovnikov has actually made such a decision, then this can be considered as an attempt by the Kremlin to suspend the Ramzan Kadyrov's desire to expand his political influence, the political analyst believes.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on June 19, 2019 at 02:46 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Source: CK correspondents

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