We shall see the real results of the referendum [in Chechnya] later,
once real developments in Chechnya become clear, whether the situation
changes and how. Today we have virtually read in the press the wishes
of the authorities on how many people should vote in Chechnya and
what the results should be.
We hope that the referendum will not lead to an increase in acts
Real progress towards an improvement in the situation can be
expected, if the authorities adhere to their promises on guaranteeing
social support for the citizens of Chechnya and there is an end
to the mop-ups, torture, violence and kidnapping of people.
In the middle and long-term there is no alternative to a political
settlement in Chechnya. A peace conference on Chechnya can sooner
or later become a variant of such a process. Such a conference
should be conducted under the guidance of the President of Russia
and on the basis of Russian law, involving all opposing and interested
parties, except for war criminals.