22 August 2003, 13:31
Nine questions to Russian President Vladimir Putin
More than 30 eminent Russian human rights activists, public figures, and cultural workers appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin asking him nine questions about the situation in Chechnya. Here are some of them:
"Mr. President, what grounds do you have to assure that federal forces are able to gain a crushing defeat of Chechen separatists in the foreseeable future?
Why do you think that the election of the president of Chechnya, which you appointed, is a "step on the way to the political settlement", leads to the stabilization of the situation and to the cessation of the war in Chechnya?
What are the expenses for the war in Chechnya at the time of your being the President?
It is known that Chechen separatists' leaders offer a peaceful plan ("Akhmadov's plan") providing for the establishment of the caretaker UN international administration on the territory of Chechnya and for Chechen separatists' disarmament on conditions that a contingent of international peacemaking forces is placed in Chechnya.
Why do you flatly refuse to negotiate with political leaders of the Chechen separatists resting on this or another peaceful plan which includes authoritative international mediation, disarmament of Chechnya, its social and economic reconstruction, and guarantees of population's security?"
Source: Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations (Moscow)