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(From BBC Monitoring International Reports)
Akhmed Zakayev, the deputy prime minister of the Chechen government and special representative of the president of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria [CRI], has said he believed that any peace initiative from the Chechen side will be rejected on principle and that only the use of force or capitulation remains. He did however state his formal support for the Akhmadov peace plan, which proposed a gradual and internationally-supervised move towards Chechen independence. Speaking about his arrest over Russian charges of terrorism in Denmark in 2002 and subsequently in the UK, he accused Danish politicians of dealing secretly with the Russian leadership. He is critical of the EU for failing to prevent or deal with the consequences of the Russian-Chechen conflict and blames the EU for the failure of its resolution to the UN Human Rights Commission, which would have condemned Russia for human rights violations in Chechnya. Following is text of the interview from the Chechenpress news agency web site entitled "The democratic west and the Chechen tragedy"; subheadings inserted editorially:
[Chechenpress correspondent Saykhan Umarov] Akhmed, your critical statement on the UN Human Rights Commission's decision has had certain repercussions in the Chechen and Russian media and has led to some interesting comment and interpretation. Among other things, people are saying that you have become an opponent of the "Akhmadov plan", which proposes a stage-by-stage Chechen independence under the patronage of international forces, and that now you are only in favour of a solution to the Russian-Chechen conflict by force.
[Zakayev] This, of course, is nonsense. I have never been an opponent of the "Akhmadov plan", nor of a peaceful solution, by way of talks, to the Russian-Chechen confrontation which has been going on for many years. I would like to remind you that the plan of conditional dependence under the aegis of the UN has been accepted and endorsed by the Chechen leadership, and as a member of the CRI government, I am unable to oppose this document. Otherwise I would have to resign and relinquish my powers of deputy prime minister in the Chechen government. However, like you, I am able to express my opinion as regards how successfully this plan is being implemented. We have, nevertheless, acquired some experience of contacts with Russian politicians, and I am absolutely certain that the current Russian regime in power will never voluntarily look at a single plan for the settlement of the Russian-Chechen conflict if …