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Zakayev Rebuffs Chechen President's Reported Offer

Separatist leader Zakaev lives in London exile.
Separatist leader Zakaev lives in London exile.
A former foreign minister of Chechnya's separatist government, Akhmed Zakayev, says he is not planning to return to Chechnya.

Zakaev confirmed to RFE/RL that Russian media reports that Moscow-backed Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov asked him to return to Grozny were accurate.

Zakayev said Kadyrov promised him freedom and a government post, adding that he did not contact Kadyrov himself.

Zakayev said Kadyrov was in no position to guarantee him anything, saying the Moscow-backed leader was simply following the Kremlin's instructions.

Zakayev has been living in self-imposed exile in London for several years.

Russian authorities have requested his extradition, as they accuse him of committing crimes during the first Russian-Chechen war in the mid-1990s. Zakayev denies the accusations.