Political settlement of the Chechen conflict is indeed necessary, but the point is that it should not turn into "a group of people weaving a plot," believes Dmitry Rogozin, the head of the International Committee in the parliament's lower house, the State Duma, and the co-Chairman of a Duma-PACE joint working group. On Thursday, the working group gave a press conference in Moscow to report the results of its trip to the North Caucasus. The other co-Chairman of the group, Lord Judd of the PACE, agrees with Rogozin that there is no alternative to political settlement. However, "the peace decision should be accepted by all parties concerned," he told the press conference, adding that it is important to negotiate with everyone except those guilty of brutal crimes. In his opinion, the meeting between Viktor Kazantsev, the presidential plenipotentiary to the Southern Federal District, and Akhmed Zakayev, a spokesman for Chechen armed units, is a welcome example.
Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign