| MOSCOW. March 12 (Interfax) - Yabloko Party leader
Grigory Yavlinsky believes that the Chechen referendum has not been
fully prepared and that a peace conference with all the warring
parties should be held instead.
The problem surrounding Chechnya can only be resolved if all
interested sides participate in a large-scae political process,
Yavlinsky said in a statement.
" The referendum on the Constitution of the republic and
elections to the republican and local authorities can become a
part of this process: however, special preliminary conditions,
which are lacking at present, should be created achieve this goal.,"
the statement reads.
It is impossible to organize a thorough debate of the draft
Constitution in a short period of time, the statement reads.
"Large-scale campaigns during a war could provoke new acts
of terror," he said. Yavlinsky warned of the long-term impact
that the unprepared referendum could have. It could aggravate
the standoff in Chechnya and help forces that encourage civil
war, the statement reads.
"Moreover, it was a mistake to exclude international agencies
from the Chechen settlement and to disband the Duma-PACE commission,"
the statement reads.
"By refusing to discuss the conditions, dates and observers
for the referendum, PACE is reneging on its responsibility for
the Russian authorities' actions and has created conditions for
serious aggravation of the situation in future," the statement
However, "further steps must be taken towards a political
settlement in Chechnya," the statement reads.
Yavlinsky emphasized the importance of "providing a legal
framework for the situation" of terminating mop-up operations
and other forms of violence. The federal authorities should promote
talks among all conflicting sides in Chechnya and use international
assistance to deter violence.
"These steps would lead to a peace conference among the
warring and interested sides which the Russian President would
chair. It should only exclude odious figures and war criminals
whose guilt has been proven," the statement reads.
Democratic Party YABLOKO.Statement.
On regulation of the crisis in Chechnya. March 11, 2003