Russian Constitutional Court recognizes Ingushetia-Chechnya border agreement
Russia’s Constitutional Court has held that an agreement on the administrative border between two North Caucasus republics Ingushetia and Chechnya complies with the country’s Constitution, Russian Constitutional Court Chairman Valery Zorkin said.
The Constitutional Court of Russia heard the application of Ingushetia’s head Yunus-bek Yevkurov, seeking to review the agreement for its compliance with the country’s Constitution on November 27.
Yevkurov also asked the court to examine actions of the Ingushetia Republic’s Constitutional Court declaring the agreement unconstitutional. The matter was examined on a fast-track basis upon a request of Ingushetia’s head, Rapsi reported.
"A referendum in Ingushetia is not necessary for the establishment of borders with the neighbouring republic," Zorkin said.
Chechnya's Moscow-backed strongman Ramzan Kadyrov praised the ruling, saying he was "grateful" to judges and that the issue had been "put to rest".
During the hearings in court, the Federation Council member Andrey Klishas said that the Ingushetia Republic’s court exceeded its authority as it was considering the agreement that had taken effect. However, in accordance with the republican law, it could hear only non-operational documents.
The agreement was signed by the head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov and the head of Ingushetia Yunus-bek Yevkurov on September 26. On October 4, the agreement was ratified by the Ingush Parliament. The document became effective in mid-October.
Later in Octoer, Ingushetia’s Constitutional Court ruled the agreement was “inconsistent with the Constitution of the Republic of Ingushetia” and said that a referendum had to take in place in the republic in order for the border swap to be legally approved.
According to the agreement, a new border would facilitate further integration of regional economies and improve economic and social cooperation.
A senior scientist of the RAS Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Ahmet Yarlykapov, speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that we should expect that the protests in Ingushetia will continue, despite the decision of the Russian Constitutional Court. “The protests did not stop even when the Ingush Republic Constitutional Court decided to cancel the border agreement. The protest movement in Ingushetia may take some other form besides mass demonstrations, but it will definitely continue. The decision of the Russian Constitutional Court will surely not satisfy those who participate in this protest movement," he explained.
In addition, there are other territorial problems in the North Cacasus Federal District. “Even at the official level, it does not close the territorial issue in the North Caucasus, for example, the Prigorodny district issue, which, according to some residents of Ingushetia, was unfairly given to North Ossetia, and so on,” Ahmet Yarlykapov warned.