Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Kadyrov Lashes Out at Critics of Chechen-Ingush Border Agreement

Paul Goble

            Staunton, October 2 – Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov denounced Ingush critics of the border accord he reached with Ingush leader Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, said that if they have any complaints they should appeal to Moscow rather than to either of them and warned that there will be an investigation into their actions.

            “This decision has been taken,” Kadyrov said. An agreement has been signed whether you want it or not, Chechen and Ingush gentlemen.” And he suggested that the accord itself had been the work of a professional bilateral commission at which he had not spoken a single word (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/326106/).

                Kadyrov also accused the residents of Ingushetia of lacking respect not only for him but also for Yevkurov and for failing to show the hospitality to him that Islam demands. Holding protests during his visit to Manas is something they should feel shame about. “I am the leader of the neighboring republic which you call fraternal.” 

            And the Chechen leaders urged Ingush elders not to lead their people astray. “Do not engage in empty talk,” Kadyrov said, “at least with regard to the leadership of the Chechen Republic and its people.” If you do, he warned, “there will be an investigation” and those involved will be identified and suffer. The established border is “the correct one.”

            In his remarks, he repeatedly stressed that “Chechen and Ingush are brothers” and urged those who are displeased with the border agreement “not to create problems for themselves.”  “Those who work in the organs of power,” he said, “are also people, Muslims who have their own families, know their own past and present, and know how things should be.”

            Residents of Chechnya speaking on conditions of anonymity whom Kavkaz-Uzel journalists interviewed said that in their view “Kadyrov’s words were a threat” and that they will only make the situation worse, infuriating Ingush at their presumptuousness and making an already difficult situation even more tense.

            There is yet another factor, one not much discussed hitherto, that may make the situation even more serious than anyone now imagines. As After Empire reports today, the redrawing of the borders will give Chechnya control of areas where there are known to be oil deposits (afterempire.info/2018/10/02/borders-rosneft/).

                That will please both Kadyrov and his Kremlin allies, including Rosneft; but when this consequence draws the attention of the Ingush, it is certain that they will view the new border as a move against the authority and vitality of their republic and that protests will only grow.

            More than that, this action and its consequences will send a powerful message to other federal subjects that Moscow is playing anything but fair with its amalgamation campaign and its divide-and-rule tactics and cause them to dig in against future changes.  The Ingush protests are only the beginning of problems Moscow will face with the Kremlin goes forward with its plans.

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