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Chechnya: Lebed Holds Talks On Coalition Government

Moscow, 11 September 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Aleksandr Lebed, Russia's security council secretary, met today in Moscow with pro-Moscow Chechen administration head Doku Zavgayev to discuss the formation of a coalition government in Grozny.

After meeting Zavgayev, Lebed also held talks with Tatarstan's President Mintimer Shaimiyev.

Lebed and Zavgayev did not discuss the congress of more than 20 Chechen political parties and movements that met yesterday in Grozny, said Lebed's press secretary, Aleksandr Barkhatov. Members of Zavgayev's administration did not attend the congress, at which delegates adopted a resolution supporting the creation of a temporary coalition government

Zavgayev has called the separatists criminals and has said his supporters will never agree to share power with them. No other details of Lebed's meeting with Zavgayev were disclosed.

Barkhatov told Itar-Tass that Shaimiyev praised Lebed's peace efforts in Chechnya. According to the Tass report, Shaimiyev also said Moscow and Grozny will be able to reach an agreement respecting both the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation and "the interests of the Chechen republic." And the Tatar president told Lebed he is willing to join future peace negotiations.

Russia's Justice minister Valentin Kovalyov today said his ministry's experts have established that the peace agreement brockered at the end of August by Lebed and Chechen separatist chief of staff Aslan Maskhadov is only a political declaration and does not have legal significance. The agreement postponed the question of Chechnya's political status until 2001.

Interfax quoted Kovalev as saying Russian authorities and Chechen separatists will have to sign two more agreements -- a treaty regulating their relations and a power-sharing treaty between Moscow and Grozny.