WILL MASKHADOV REALLY LEAVE CHECHNYA?

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WILL MASKHADOV REALLY LEAVE CHECHNYA?

Izvestia, November 1, 2001, p. 1

A source: Aslan Maskhadov and his guerrillas are prepared to lay down their arms and cease practising terrorism against the federal forces in return for a safe exit. A preliminary agreement was reached during talks between Kazantsev and Zakayev.

According to the source, Maskhadov will be given safe passage abroad. Several hundred guerrillas under Maskhadov’s command will lay down their weapons. It seems that they will also be allowed to leave the country. “Given the information received from Zakayev, special forces of the united federal group will focus their attention on the hunt for other Chechen ringleaders, including Shamil Basayev and Khattab,” says an officer of the Russian army group in Chechnya.

Unofficial sources imply that the security structures and special forces have been ordered to suspend operations against Chechen ringleaders, apparently pending completion of negotiations between Kazantsev and Zakayev.

AL-HARIRI: OCCUPATION IS A FORM OF TERRORISM

Izvestia, November 1, 2001, p. 3

al-Hariri: Lebanese-Russian relations go back more than two centuries. The Russian consulate in Beirut was opened in 1839. Our views and Moscow’s coincide on many issues.

The visitor will meet with President Vladimir Putin and discuss the counter-terrorism operation in Afghanistan. He considers that civilian casualties must be avoided at all costs.

al-Hariri: We wish success to the international counter-terrorism operation, but success is only possible when the causes of a phenomenon are dealt with, not just consequences. The war on terrorism will never be successful while the Arab-Israeli conflict continues, as long as Israel is occupying Palestinian lands and killing Palestinians. We view occupation as a form of terrorism.

GOLOVLEV IS OFF THE HOOK FOR THE MOMENT

Rossiiskaya Gazeta, November 1, 2001, p. 1

Yesterday the Duma was supposed to consider two alternative draft documents concerning Vladimir Golovlev, deputy chairman of the Budget and Taxes Committee.

Only one document, drafted by the Mandate Commission, was actually submitted for discussion. As a result, the Duma turned down the proposal to strip Golovlev of his parliamentary immunity. Some observers do not rule out the possibility that the lower house may discuss the matter again today.

Golovlev himself is alleging political harassment. He recently joined the oppositionist movement Liberal Russia, associated with Boris Berezovsky.

There is another theory as well. Some Duma deputies believe that by putting pressure on Golovlev, the law enforcement agencies are actually targetting Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko.

FOREIGN MINISTER IVANOV VISITING THE UNITED STATES

Rossiiskaya Gazeta, November 1, 2001, p. 2

Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov flew to the United States yesterday for talks with Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Ivanov and Powell will discuss strategic arms reduction and missile defense, and “urgent issues in the last phase of preparations for the Russian-American summit”. They will exchange opinions across the whole spectrum of bilateral relations and international matters.

RUSSIA WILL PAY AUSTRIA IN HIGH-TECH PRODUCTS

Nash Vek, November 1, 2001, p. 1

According to Mikhail Dmitriyev, deputy minister for Economic Development and Trade, Russia will repay its debts to Austria in high-tech products. Dmitriyev says Moscow will give Austria a list of enterprises it may be interested in, and a separate list of goods to be delivered to Austria free of charge.

Russia’s readiness to repay debts is supposed to improve its relations with Austria. So far, however, there is no clarity on the issue of supplying MIG-29 planes to Austria.

Observers do not doubt that the Russian-Austrian joint project of the MIG-110 passenger plane will soon be revived.

SOYUZ TM-23 LANDS

Nash Vek, November 1, 2001, p. 2

The crew spent eight days on the International Space Station.

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