RUSSIAN AUTHORITIES PREPARE AMNESTY FOR MILITANTS

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It seems that quiet situation in Russia when the G8 summit was held in St. Petersburg was achieved with difficulty. It is possible to draw this conclusion from the statement of Director of the Federal Security Service Nikolai Patrushev released on Tuesday at a meeting of the National Antiterrorist Committee (NAC). It turned out that terrorists tried to undermine the G8 summit but Russian special services prevented these attempts.

A representative of the NAC said that during the days of the summit in St. Petersburg a staff for provision of its security was working permanently. The same staff were working also in all North Caucasian republics.

Meanwhile, at their meeting participants of the NAC discussed the draft resolution “On announcement of amnesty to the people who have committed actions dangerous for society in the course of the antiterrorist operation in the territory of the North Caucasian region of Russia.” This document will be submitted to the Presidential Administration and to the Duma.

Patrushev said, “The citizens of Russia who have been deceived by the leaders of bandit forces and involved in criminal activity have a real chance to return to peaceful life. Those who continue their criminal activity will bear a deserved punishment.” According to the Director of the Federal Security Service, the recent address of the NAC to participants of the bandit forces was an important decision on the path to restoration of social and economic life, civil and inter-denomination peace in the North Caucasus. According to Patrushev, they were offered to start negotiations with representatives of the legal authorities of Chechnya or federal center by August 1. Along with this, Patrushev said that the NAC guaranteed objective and unprejudiced investigation into all circumstances of participation of every person in activities of illegal armed forces.

Zarema Aslakhanova, representative of the press service of the government of Chechnya, told WPS that initiatives of Patrushev were taken in the republic with satisfaction. Aslakhanova remarked that Prime Minister of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov already issued the relevant instruction to Interior Minister Ruslan Alkhanov and ombudsman Nurdi Nukhazhiev to use all opportunities provided by Russian authorities for return of dozens of members of illegal armed forces to peaceful life.

Setting the task for the Interior Minister of Chechnya, Kadyrov stated, “The relevant explanatory work should be done with relatives of those who are “on the other side of the barricades.” In turn, Ruslan Alkhanov reports that all Chechen policemen are occupied with fulfillment of this task. The press service explains that already 17 militants from the gang of Doku Umarov are going to surrender.

Overall, according to the Chechen Prime Minister, 95 militants surrendered to the authorities since the beginning of 2006. The Chechen government predicts that there are no less than 50 militants who can surrender. According to Kadyrov, there will be no amnesty for mercenaries from Turkey and other countries.

Meanwhile, Aslakhanova reported that Kadyrov requested the Russian authorities prolong the period of the amnesty offered to the militants.

Aslakhanova explains, “He presumes that the declared time will be insufficient for everyone willing to lay down arms to return to peaceful life.” It is likely that negotiations will be held with the militants by August 1. Aslakhanova presumes that a special bill on amnesty will be passed in autumn when the Duma starts working like this already happened in 2003.

In turn, Gennady Gudkov, member of the security committee of the Duma, presumes that Duma deputies may gather earlier if in the next few days they are recalled from vacations for debating and approval of the amnesty bill. Along with this, Gudkov says that most likely the amnesty will not be applicable to members of security agencies, as well as to militants who have committed deliberate murders, terrorist acts, kidnapping and infringed on lives of representatives of the law-enforcement agencies.

Thus, active work is started in Russia to incline the militants towards peaceful life. It was not a secret that this became possible after liquidation of Shamil Basayev and other field commanders.

Ramzan Kadyrov says, “Chechnya is not a problematic region and a zone of antiterrorist operation anymore but is a subject of Russia that is on the path of creation.” Practically all politicians and military commanders agree with him now.

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