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MN: Kadyrov follows in Dudayev's steps

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  • mariuslab2002
    No 25 July 2, 2003 Moskovskiye Novosti POLITICS Kadyrov Follows in Dudaev s Steps Valery Vyzhutovich Akhmad Kadyrov proposes a special relationship between
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      No 25 July 2, 2003 Moskovskiye Novosti

      POLITICS
      Kadyrov Follows in Dudaev's Steps
      Valery Vyzhutovich

      Akhmad Kadyrov proposes a special relationship between Chechnya and
      the federal center


      Dudaev's Ichkeria, an idea whose unacceptability Moscow has been
      trying to prove with fire and sword for nearly a decade now, has been
      refloated. Akhmad Kadyrov has drawn up a draft treaty on demarcation
      of powers between the Chechen Republic and the Federal center.
      The need for such a treaty was originally declared this past spring.
      No one paid attention to that at the time because the draft
      constitution that was submitted to a referendum did not say a word
      about the republic's special status. The promise of certain
      privileges looked like a propaganda ploy to obtain the necessary
      result.

      The referendum took place. Contrary to skeptics, Moscow reaffirmed
      its intention to grant Chechnya a special status. Now, last week, the
      Chechen side made public the draft treaty on demarcation of powers.
      It is a peculiar document. Reading it, you get an uncanny feeling
      that its key provisions were dictated by Dudaev himself, from the
      next world.

      First, the norms and regulations established by the treaty take
      precedence over federal laws.

      Second, Chechnya's national bank is granted the right to print money.

      Third, control, management and use of Chechnya's natural resources
      lies within the republic's exclusive jurisdiction.

      Fourth, the republic can establish diplomatic relations with other
      states and open its missions there.

      These four provisions are quite enough to understand that a new
      Chechnya as seen by Kadyrov does not in any way differ from the old,
      1991-style Chechnya. Although from the point of view of "financial
      sovereignty," Kadyrov easily out-Dudaevs Dudaev: Under unstoppable
      Djokhar Chechnya may have engaged in an L/C scam, but never went as
      far as to demand a "national" money printing press.

      Sure, the Kremlin will subject the Kadyrov draft to legal and
      political-economic appraisal. The implications of the proposed
      demarcation of powers will be carefully assessed. But something is
      clear already now. Consider uncontrolled management and use of
      natural resources: According to some sources, every day between 100
      tonnes and 200 tonnes of oil produced in Chechnya are stolen and
      diverted to the black market. This is happening while Grozneftegaz's
      money flow (49 percent of the company stock belongs to the republic's
      administration and the 51 percent is held by Rosneft) goes through
      the Federal Treasury. What will be the scale of theft when
      Grozneftegaz receives full financial freedom?

      True, it will hardly come to that. All unreasonable demands of the
      incumbent Chechen leadership will be rejected by Moscow. Kadyrov
      knows this, acting on the ask-for-the-impossible-and-get-the-maximum
      principle. Yet even this reeks of blackmail: If you want to get
      Chechen loyalty and stamp out separatist sentiments, you have to pay.
      The price is maximum political and economic independence for the
      republic.

      The head of Chechnya is bluffing. The price that he quotes is
      inconsistent with market demand. A recent survey conducted in
      Chechnya by the Validata sociological service under the supervision
      of Prof. Sergei Khaikin shows that the Chechens' conceived aspiration
      for autonomy is grossly exaggerated. At any rate, 70 percent of
      respondents believe that Chechnya should remain part of Russia.
      The "proud Chechen people" wants not freedom and independence but
      pensions, welfare, stipends, and funds to rebuild the economy and the
      social sphere.

      So it would be wrong to assume that by claiming a special status for
      the republic Kadyrov intends to increase his support in the upcoming
      presidential election in Chechnya. His draft targets more narrow
      interests that are nonetheless the most interested in seeing a
      slackening of federal controls. The head of Chechnya is sending a
      signal to all local clans to make the "right choice." He would like
      to be able to believe that the Kremlin will make the same choice. It
      seems that Moscow still sees no alternative to Kadyrov, actively
      promoting a new Chechen ruler who, once he gets a presidential
      mandate, could turn out to be just another Dudaev.
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