Monday, February 13, 2006

Cartoons: The Family Connection

“ Russia closes the door of the North Caucasus ”

Interview with Musayev Ilias, Copenhagen spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Independent Chechen Republic of Ichkeriya (ICR).

Interviewed by Aslan BARANETS

- How many refugees from Chechnya live in Europe nowadays, and what is their social structure?

- According to the last information, we have about 200,000 Chechen emigrants. The majority are persons who support the Chechen Movement for Independence and cannot, or do not want to stay in our home republic under Russian occupation. They represent all social groups, but mostly they are intelligent people: journalists, writers, and surgeons - our best professionals in their area. It is really sad that they do not have the possibility to work and express themselves in Chechnya now. Their only blame is love to their motherland.

- The new president of ICR Abdul-Halim Sadulayev closed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a short period of time earlier this year, what would you say about it?

- After the closure of the ministry, the president made a new staff end established it again. So today many more active professionals serve us in the politicial arena. If in the past there were only 3-4 representative in Europe , now we have 20. And we are planning to send new representatives to the other European countries where are don’t have any diplomats yet. Unfortunately I cannot tell you now the names of those persons or countries where they will be sent for understandable reasons.

- From where do you get financial resources for your activity?

- There are many political movements all over the world. Some of them are situated in West European countries and a couple of non-politicial Middle Eastern organisations support us in every way they can. For example also the Chechen community in Copenhagen - people from different parts of Denmark endow us their money.

- How are your relations with the Danish government?

- They are definitely good and friendly. If they were not so, I do not think that we could have the possibility to lead such a way of life as we do now. The Danish government practically helps us in all kinds of conflicts with Russian authorities by supporting the Chechen community here.

- I am sure that you have heard about the scandal of the published Muhammad drawings in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. What is the position of the Chechen community on this issue?

- Definitely, we consider the drawings to be scandalous but I think there is one very interesting point in this story: I realized Jyllands-Posten’s editor of culture is married to the daughter of a FSB general. And he had been working in Moscow as Jyllands-Posten’s correspondent. I suppose that this scandal is nothing else than another regular provocation of the Russian Special Services. Why did they do this? That’s another question. We all know very well that Russian authorities for a long time have been trying to close the North Caucasus' door for western humanitarian organisations, which have a good experience of supporting the Chechen population and also collected a large data archive about war crimes permitted in Chechnya. Of course, they do not want this information to be used by international human rights prosecutors. And the present situation with the Danish Refugee Council is not surprising. Of course the official position of our government in exile is that we would like the Danish Refugee Council to remain in Chechnya. Ramzan Kadirov, the prime minister of Chechnya, only has a 3rd grade education, and he is only a Kremlin mafia's puppet. He never had his own opinion. And he cannot do such kind of steps without the Kremlin's special edict. Also it is a possibility for FSB to create in Denmark the same massive phobia that we have now in Russia. It is the same dirty business, they only changed the picture of the public enemy. If in Russia it is Chechens blasting Russian buildings, in America and, now in Denmark , it is warlike Muslims burning the Danish flag. Using their own agent in Jyllands-Posten, they felicitously prepared the world for the 3rd World War. War between two civilisations – East against West. And I do not really think that Russia will take sides in such a war.
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