From remarks by Lyoma Usmanov, Chechnya's official representative to the United States, at the National Press Club Monday:

There is no war against terrorism in Chechnya. Russia government wages war against the whole nation. This is only one reason why Russia government doesn't like to have any negotiations because our position is very, very clear. We are ready to decide anything with Russian government, anything.

Okay. Chechen government is not so strong as necessary. This is true. Chechen government is unable to control whole territory. Some parts of Chechnya are under control of criminalities, people who belong to Islamic extremist movements. But we are talking about not Chechen government, about Chechen people. Only Chechen government and the head of Chechen government, President [Aslan] Maskhadov, can call on Chechen people. Let's fight with Russian brothers so that we can together get rid of criminality in our country instead of this Russia's conducting this brutal war. . . .

I'd like to say Chechen culture, Chechen mentality, we would like to live like any Western country, like American country, like American people. We are not people from some other planet. We are like you. . . . And I do not agree . . . if some Western leader says that Russia has right to keep this war for its territorial integrity. Russia has no right. According to international law, Russia has no right to . . . conduct war against its own ethnic minority.