Question:Mr. Udugov, have there been any attempts of contacts and meetings between representatives of the Chechen and Armenian administrations in recent years, including the Chechen war?
Answer:During the 1991 developments, when the power in Ichkeria was taken over by the All-National Congress of Chechen people, unofficial delegations of Armenian Supreme Council have come to Grozny (currently Johar city) several times. It was led by the chairman of one of the parliamentary committees. I don't remember his name, but I know that he was personally acquainted with Johar Dudayev.
Q.: Mr. Udugov, how do you foresee the settlement of the Upper Karabakh conflict? What do you think should be the solution to an eternal dilemma between a right of a nation for self-determination and the principle of inviolability of state borders?
A.:The dilemmas in question exist owing to the originally erroneous wording of the question. We are not in the intention of supporting the declaratory and political games, which veil the real state of things.
The reality is that by the set of the 20th century, one can discern more and more distinctly the contours of a christian-pagan union, which takes root in the Sionism. This alliance has declared a war on the entire Islamic world. As a matter of fact, the alliance is overtly engaged in the occupation of Islamic lands. Karabakh (the Chechen name for it is Artz) is not only a part of Azerbaijan, but also of the Muslim world.
Q.:Can you run any parallels between the Karabakh and Chechen conflicts?
A.: In this contest, the western alliance, also known as “the world community”, covertly backs the occupation of Karabakh and simultaneously prompts Russia not to let go Chechnya (as if it depended on Russia).
Q.: What is your assessment of the present foreign policy of Armenia, in particular in Caucasian matters?
A.:The seizure and occupation of 20% of a neighboring countrys territory is an unprecedented occasion, even for post-USSR territory. This is not quite a far-sighted policy, especially in the Caucasus. Such phenomena had never existed in the history of Caucasian peoples. This has caused a fair discontent and indignation of the majority of Caucasian nations, especially of Chechens.
Q.: Can you feel any palpable changes in the policy of Armenia after Levon Ter-Petrosian was replaced with Robert Kocharian?
A.: This is a too straightforward question to be asked of a politologist. Armenian politics has long ceased to depend on certain individuals and parties and is dictated by those who migs and MIGs. Unfortunately, Armenian politicians have turned themselves and their nation into a hostage of someone else's interests.
Q.: Do you think Chechnya could play the role of a mediator in ameliorating relationship between Armenia and Azerbaijan as well as between Armenia and Turkey?
A.: Chechnya cannot act as mediator between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Any mediation envisions neutrality. Chechnya cannot duplicate the neutrality of Western Europe. God does not forgive double-facedness. We are for a complete and unconditional voluntary liberation of Azeri land and will be supporting Azerbaijan in this.
Q.: What is the future of Armenian-Chechen relationship like?
A.: It all depends on Armenian administration. Will it change its political course or not? Will it relinquish the historical anachronism in the form of territorial claims? This is enough food for thought. Why doesn't USA, for example, being no less powerful than Armenia, practise physical annexation of someone's territory?
Q.: What is the place of Armenia in the Caucasus in your view?
A.: The place and role of Armenia in the Caucasus will depend upon the policy of Armenian state.
Q.: Armenia is actively bolstering military cooperation with Russia and regards Moscow as its main military and strategic ally. Can this advsersely affect the Armenian-Chechen relations?
A.: Armenia's military and strategic partner, Moscow, will have serious problems and shake-ups next year, but even if Armenia takes fancy to NATO, it will hardly feel any cardinal difference.
Q.: How would you assess the role of Iran in the region?
A.: I have an impression that Iran has chosen a wrong course.
Q.: How would you characterize Russia’s present policy with regard to the North Caucasus and Caucasus?
A.: Both as neo-colonial and short-sighted.
Q.: Mr. Udugov, are there any hostilities in Chechnya with regard to Armenia or Upper Kaabakh? Although the Karabakh war did not bear an inter-religious nature, such manifestations had naturally been displayed.
A.: As I said above, Chechen Mojaheds have accumulated a certain anger caused by the policy of Armenia. I know that issue number 2 in the program of many islamic military groups, next to the liberation of Dagestan, is Karabakh.
Q.: If the war resumes in Upper Karabakh, do you think it is possible for Chechen volunteers to take part in it?
A.: Islamic military units will probably not wait for the resumption of war in Upper Karabakh. According to some information, they intend to launch a campaign in 2000 aimed at restoring the territorial integrity of Muslim states of the Caucasus.