Moscow believes that Ilyas Akhmadov's request for political asylum is recognition of the fact that Maskhadov's regime is doomed.
The Russian Foreign Ministry's department of information and press told RIA Novosti on Saturday that Ilyas Akhmadov, who calls himself Ichkeria's Foreign Minister, had appealed to the US authorities asking to grant him political asylum.
According to Moscow officials, the fact that the Chechen emissary has decided to hide in the US is "very illustrative". "Apparently, Maskhadov's associates begin to realize that their terrorist cause is doomed," Foreign Ministry says.
Moscow stresses that as Russia pursues a coherent policy aimed at eradication of hotbeds of terrorism in Chechnya and re-establishment of normal life, decent for man, "it is more and more difficult for the self-proclaimed Maskhadov regime to present itself as caring for the fates of the Chechen people."
Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club that Russia will never initiate military actions, including with the use of nuclear weapons