Saturday, December 19, 2020

North Ossetian Statement about Defining Border with Ingushetia Dangerous, Ingush Minister Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, December 17 – Today, Ruslan Teleyev, the property minister for North Ossetia, said that he is seeking to delimit the border with Ingushetia ( generated a sharp rejoinder from Ruslan Volkov, Ingushetia’s minister for external relations, nationality policy, the press and information.

            Volkov, who has alienated many in Ingushetia for his anti-Muslim actions, denounced Teleyev’s words, saying that they open the way for “various destructive forces” to destabilize “not only Ingushetia and North Ossetia but the North Caucasus Federal District as a whole” (

            Border issues are extremely sensitive and must be resolved by bilateral talks rather than unilateral declarations, Volkov says; and they should not even be raised at a time when Russia is fighting a pandemic and is subject to “baseless sanctions” and when the people of the federation must be “a single whole.”

            Also speaking out against the remarks of the North Ossetian official is Magamet Yandiyev, chairman of Ingushetia’s parliament, the Popular Assembly. He denounced Teleyev’s remarks as both ignorant and dangerous (

            “Teleyev cannot not know that the border of 1957 about which he speaks does not have any legal basis,” Yandiyev says. “In the process of restoring the Chechen-Ingush Republic, there was not a single legal act that assigned the Prigorodny District” which had been part of Ingushetia before the deportation “to North Ossetia.”

            “The border was simply marked on a map” in 1958 and 1959. But that was done without the talks and legal actions required to change the borders of the two republics. Consequently, the 1940 border remains the legal one; and any change will require bilateral negotiations and the adoption of legal measures. Unilateral moves by officials are not enough.

            Just how sensitive borders are for Ingushetia was laid out last month by Askhab Gaygov, chairman of the public commission on defining the territories and borders of Ingushetia. He said that Ingushetia has been subject to what he called “discrimination” and “the greatest possible injustice” not only with the border change with Chechnya but elsewhere as well (

            (That change, arranged in a deal between former Ingushetia head Yunus-Bek Yevkurov and Chechnya’s Ramzan Kadyrov has sparked two years of protests and is now again at the center of attention because of a show trial against the Ingush Seven, the leaders of the March 2019 demonstration.)

            Other border changes without legal foundation and against the interests of the Ingush nation, Gaygov said, include transfers of two districts to North Ossetia, and three districts to Stavropol Kray. Ingushetia, he pointedly noted, had been given nothing in exchange for its losses.

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