Caucasian peoples are following with great attention all initiatives that can promote regulation of extremely tense situation in the North Caucasus and ceasefire through negotiations. There were expectations that the World Chechen Congress scheduled in Warsaw on September 16-17th could have become a starting point as its organizers announced very promising topics on the agenda. Namely, ending of the Russian-Chechen conflict and drawing up a common concept on this issue, elimination of terrorism and violence in Chechnya and the whole of Russia, lessening of possibility of new large-scale Caucasian war, prosecution of war criminals and establishment of international tribunal on Chechnya issues.
According to organizers of the congress all Chechen diasporas would have participated in it as well as well-known politicians of Russia and Europe such as Lech Walesa, Vaclav Havel, Mikhail Gorbachev, etc.
Extreme radicalism was displayed by the president of the congress and the main organizer, professor of the Academy of the Ministry of the Internal Affairs of Russia Deny Temps. But in the end it became clear that all this was just another attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of the society.
No information was published about discussion of the scheduled issues or their resolution either during the congress or after three-days of it. No summarizing resolution was approved. Neither were stated reasons for such development of events. Politicians did not arrive to Warsaw. Nor were there the similar number of representative of diasporas that were earlier specified. Neither Chechnya authorities nor rebel radical forces spared even a thought for going to this event.
The media extensively covered the issue of going or not going to the congress of former high-rank official of the unrecognized Republic of Ichkeria Akhmed Zakayev against whom Russia has an international warrant lodged, his appearance in Warsaw, his voluntary visit to the Prosecutors' office and his arrest by the Polish police in very mild forms. The swiftly-organized court session revealed that accusations presented by the Russian authorities against Akhmed Zakayev were not enough for his arrest. He was released. It was the third time that Akhmed Zakayev left Russian authorities empty-handed. The first time this happened was in 2002 when World Chechen Congress took place in Copenhagen and the Russian authorities had similar claims towards Zakayev. The Danish court released him for the same motive. After that Vladimir Putin refused to make a scheduled official visit to Copenhagen. The second time was when he won the court case against Russia in London when the latter demanded his extradition from the British authorities.
The position of the head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov was also broadly publicized. He stated publicly several times that Zakayev could return to Chechnya as he did not take part in fighting against federal forces. Kadyrov also confessed that he intended to use him and his abilities to establish stabilization in Chechnya.
But on the first day of the congress in Warsaw when negative attitude of the Russian Foreign Ministry towards the congress and Akhmed Zakayev became known Ramzan Kadyrov completely changed his position and said that Akhmed Zakayev was suspected in kidnapping and murder of policemen. Therefore he should be arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment.
The Polish authorities managed to kill three birds with one stone. They did not offend either Russia and Chechen authorities as they arrested Zakayev and put him on a court trial or European human rights activists as Zakayev was released from the court hall. Thus Polish court emphasized its independence. Neither were Chechen opposition forces offended as Akhmed Zakayev was detained and later released without violation of his dignity.
Conduction of the World Chechen Congress in Warsaw and Zakayev's participation in it caused a very sharp reaction of the Russian Foreign Ministry and they waved their fingers at the Polish authorities and threatened them with suspension of the scheduled visit of Medvedev in Poland. It did not take Polish Prime Minister Daniel Tusk long to say that his government did not intend to sacrifice the process of rapprochement between Poland and Russia for the sake of Chechnya.
So the World Chechen Congress so widely publicized by professor of the Academy of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs Deny Temps practically only resulted in resurfacing of Akhmed Zakayev's person. Though there were timid voices saying that the main reason of unsuccessfulness of this congress was disagreement of Chechen forces. There is another suggestion that the purpose of the conduction of this congress was further segregation and division of the Chechen society and strengthening of syndrome of hopelessness in them.
The coming days will enable society and interested persons to make deeper analysis and draw relevant conclusions. And it will become clear who is behind the farce that was played in Warsaw.