Exclusive Interview with President Aslan Maskhadov

S.Saidov
Chechenpress

The President of the USA visited Russia. On the threshold of the American-Russian summit the President of the Chechen Republic Ichkeria addressed an appeal to President George Bush. The correspondent of Chechenpress communicated with President Aslan Maskhadov and asked him to comment the letter.

“The Russian-Chechen conflict cannot be settled by means of war, - said the President of Chechnya Aslan Maskhadov, - continuing of this war will lead us to the increasing of the number of victims and sufferings of the people. There is only peace resolution of the Russian-Chechen conflict and with the help of the third party”.

The President also spoke about the incorrect treatment of this war. “This war is not a campaign against the terrorism, this is a fight for independence. We seek to get rid of terrorism and become the participants of freedom and democracy”. Besides that the President reminded: “We have always unanimously condemned any form of terrorism, and welcomed the campaign against international terrorism carried out by America, offering to become part of the coalition”.

Speaking about the nature of terrorist acts the President said: “We see that Russia is almost daily shaken by monstrous terrorist attacks, whose perpetrators are never found, but whose aims are always served. We also see Chechnya subjected to daily terror and violence, whose perpetrators are never punished, but whose cause is evident. Both Russia and Chechnya have become a single playground for those who hate freedom and democracy, for those who use fear and violence to promote their inhuman ends. These dangerous tendencies should be and can be stopped”.

Aslan Maskhadov noted once more that radicals and extremists must be deprived of their breeding ground – the war in Chechnya: “Both the Chechen and Russian peoples must be given a way to a peaceful, democratic and prosperous future. To this end, as the democratically elected President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and the Commander-in-Chief of the Chechen Armed Forces, I offer to introduce a cease-fire and meet President Putin at any time to end this senseless war”.

In conclusion the President said: “the world has done too little to help the Russians and Chechens to come to negotiations. The USA, as a leader of the free world, has both the duty and the ability to bring Russia and Chechnya to peace and democracy”.