Demanding Talks with Terrorists Double Standard

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) – To demand that Russia should conduct "peaceful negotiations" with terrorists is to cultivate double standards in the fight against terrorism, Russia’s ambassador to Belgium, Vadim Lukov, wrote in his article "Whom Does Chechnya Support?" published in the Belgian newspaper De Tijd on January 19.

"It turns out that with some terrorists, such as Osama bin Laden and Abu Zarkaui, negotiations are impossible, while with others [Maskhadov, for example] they are not only possible but even necessary! What is the difference between Aslan Maskhadov and Shamil Basayev, whom the U.S. State Department has included on the list of international terrorists?" Mr. Lukov wrote.

He noted that "the calls addressed to Moscow to start a political settlement in Chechnya are obviously too late," because "the main political steps towards peace in Chechnya have already been taken."

Mr. Lukov names the Constitution of the Republic, adopted at the referendum, the presidential elections and the preparations for the parliamentary elections as part of those steps.

"Those who ignore all these basic facts of a peaceful settlement in Chechnya expose themselves as supporters of only one variant of ‘settlement’: that of the repetition of terrorists’ power on the Chechen land," he underscored.

According Mr. Lukov, the European public should clearly understand that support of the Chechen terrorists does not at all contribute to the stabilization of the situation in Chechnya but, on the contrary, "inspires and encourages those who, under the pretext of ‘fighting for the independence of Chechnya,’ would like to use common Chechens as ‘cannon fodder’ in combinations of international terrorism."