By Paul Goble
Despite the decision by the Russian Constitutional Court, the subsequent veto by the Ingush Electoral Commission on a referendum, and appeals by republic officials to come to terms with the September 26 Ingush-Chechen border accord, Ingush opponents say they will continue to protest and now plan to appeal to international courts.
Ruslan Mutsolgov, one of the protests, says that the Russian court’s decision “was taken in favor of bureaucrats and destroys the federal structure of the country … As a result of this decision, all regions of the country, including Kabardino-Balkaria, Adygeya, Stavropol and Daghestan may suffer” (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/328813/).
He says that opponents of the border accord will make use of “all legal means” to have it reversed. “We reserve the right to hold meetings and to appeal to international institutions.” His argument is supported by Zakri Mamilov, a deputy of the Ingush legislature, who adds that that body will support a referendum on the accord as required by the Constitution.
And the Ingush deputy continues with the observation that “the impression has been created that [the powers that be] view Ingushetia as a second-class region. I personally am feeling a deep spiritual disappointment.” His feelings almost certainly are shared by many Ingush who live in one of the smallest federal subjects which is now to become even smaller.
Three other developments over the last 24 hours related to the Ingush-Chechen border dispute include:
Yunus-Bek Kadyrov and Ramzan Kadyrov say that the decision of the Russian Constitutional Court puts an end to the argument about the border accord. They add that they will work together to develop the frontier area between them (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/328816/).
Ever more commentators are suggesting that now that he had won in Ingushetia, Chechnya’s Kadyrov will seek to annex territory in Daghestan as well (caucasustimes.com/ru/kavkaz-gotovjat-k-ukrupneniju/ and themoscowtimes.com/articles/ramzan-kadyrovs-next-target-op-ed-63745).
Russian historian Daniil Kotsyubinsky says that the differing legal theories advanced by the Russian Constitutional Court and by the Ingush Constitutional Court are sufficiently compelling that the two sides will continue the fight in Ingushetia and that that fight is likely to cause the Kremlin ever more problems in the future (rosbalt.ru/posts/2018/12/07/1751732.html).