London Memorandum – 25th February 2005
“The Road to Peace in Chechnya”
The present memorandum has been signed by representatives of the Government of the Republic of Chechnya and the Union of Committees of Soldiers’ Mothers of Russia (UCSMR) (hereafter referred to as ‘the Parties’) and is the result of talks held on 25th February 2005 at the offices of the European Parliament in London. The meeting took place at the initiative of the UCSMR within the framework of a peace mission, which has received wide public support in Russia. The Parties would like to express their gratitude to the Members of the European Parliament who organised and facilitated the meeting and the Members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe who were observers at the talks.
THE PARTIES ARE IN AGREEMENT THAT:
• the armed conflict in Chechnya has brought innumerable disasters to the peoples of Chechnya and Russia. The hundreds of billions of roubles spent on the war have produced hundreds of thousands of victims in both Russia and Chechnya. Tens of thousands of homes have been destroyed, and Chechnya’s economic infrastructure ruined. More than one generation of young people on both sides has grown up in an atmosphere of violence and hatred. The course of the Chechen conflict has also been marked by serious war crimes, massive human rights infractions and horrific acts of terrorism;
• the Chechen conflict cannot be settled by force. The continuation of military action cannot lead to victory for either side. Peace is the only real common victory;
• violations of human rights and terrorism in connection with the Chechen conflict cannot be justified and deserve unqualified condemnation. A peace process is indispensable to bring a speedy end to these horrors;
• the origins and growth of terrorism in Chechnya and the Northern Caucasus lie in the short-sighted and criminal policies of the Russian government, which initiated military action in 1994. A cessation of terrorism and a stabilisation of the situation can be brought about only through the combined efforts of all parties to the conflict and those civic forces who have been active in condemning the war in Chechnya and calling for a peaceful settlement of the conflict;
• in order to solve the existing conflict and to prevent any further spread of the conflict the European community (Council of Europe, European Union and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe) is urged to give much greater support to the peace process.
The Parties believe that the meeting in London has been successful and that it is essential to continue in the future the discussion of all aspects of the problem.
The Parties will familiarise themselves with the specific proposals made by each side.
The Parties count on the active support of the European structures for a peaceful settlement of the conflict, which is harmful to both Chechnya and Russia.