All groups of the Chechen population and political forces, except for those who support terrorists, will take part in the political settlement in the republic, Russian president's aide Sergei Yastrzhembsky said at a press conference in Brussels. He explained the Russian leaders' stand on the solution of the Chechen problem.
The participants in the press conference resolutely rejected any possibility of negotiations with Aslan Maskhadov, who, according to them, lost the chance given to him in 1997 to build a democratic Chechen state, and refused to accept proposals of conducting real negotiations with the federal centre. It was noted at the press conference that Maskhadov stood behind the organisers of the barbarous hostage-taking in Moscow. Neither he, nor participants in the so-called "world congress of Chechens" in Copenhagen have any legitimate right to participate in the political process.
Yastrzhembsky informed representatives of the press on the results of the meeting held between president Vladimir Putin and representatives of the Chechen diaspora, which took place in Moscow on November 10. He stressed that after the referendum on the new constitution of Chechnya to be held next spring elections to the new bodies of authority will be conducted. International observers will be invited to the referendum and the elections.
Yastrzhembsky pointed out that the principle of democracy is to respect the will of the majority. Judging by the public opinion polls more than half of the Russian population support the Kremlin's policy and come out for the military suppression of separatists' resistance in Chechnya.
Taking part in the press conference were well-known politicians who one way or another are connected with the problem of Chechnya: Russian minister Stanislav Ilyasov, member of the Federation Council Akhmar Zavgayev, special representative of the Russian president on human rights in Chechnya Abdul-Khakim Sultygov, State Duma deputy Leonid Slutsky and pediatrist Leonid Roshal.