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Issue of Chechnya-Ingushetia border closed — Chechen leader

The Chechen leader said he had no plans to unite Chechnya and Ingushetia as "the issue is irrelevant in Russia"
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov Mikhail Metzel/TASS
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov
© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

GROZNY, October 28. /TASS/. The issue of an administrative border between Russia’s North Caucasus republics of Chechnya and Ingushetia, demarcated in a bilateral agreement in late September, is now closed, Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov told reporters.

"We have made a decision to deal with this issue, that has long been discussed, once and for all," Kadyrov said. "The matter is now closed for us - the agreement has been signed, the laws have been adopted."

"For me, as the leader of Chechnya, the matter is closed," he added. "There will be no conflict or quarrel between us."

According to Kadyrov, the deal was signed to improve economic, cultural and political relations between the two brotherly republics. "Some people fail to understand, but they eventually will. This takes time," he said.

The Chechen leader said he had no plans to unite Chechnya and Ingushetia as "the issue is irrelevant in Russia."

The administrative border issue between Chechnya and Ingushetia arose in the early 1990s and remained unresolved until recently. In June 1992, after the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic broke up, the Republic of Ingushetia was founded as part of the Russian Federation, while the then authorities of Chechnya, led by Dzhokhar Dudayev, set off on the road to independence from Russia. The first attempt to delineate a border in areas with a mixed Chechen and Ingush population was undertaken in 1993. At the time, Dudayev and Ingushetia’s first President Ruslan Aushev signed an accord, which made sure that the most of the Sunzhensky District, except for the Sernovodsk settlement and the Assinovskaya village, remained within Ingushetia.

In late September, regional heads Ramzan Kadyrov and Yunus-Bek Yevkurov signed an agreement on administrative border, which was later ratified by regional legislatures. However, the move caused an ambiguous reaction in both regions. A protest took place in Ingushetia’s capital of Magas ahead of the signing, while there were calls on social media to hold unauthorized protests. Such calls continued after the document had been signed. On October 2, the Magas District Court arrested two locals for 12 days over their participation in such a demonstration.

Yevkurov later explained that there would be no actual exchange of territories between the two regions. The agreement implies that Ingushetia and Chechnya will exchange pieces of uninhabited land in a mountainous, wooded area, totaling 1,890 hectares.