Independence is not a whim or an ambition. It is the necessary condition of our survival as an ethnic group.
A foreign ideology cannot be introduced into Chechnya - were it through an Arab or al-Qaeda. Our experience is rich and long enough for us to be Muslims and know what jihad is.
I assure you, it would be much more pleasant for me to be an ordinary voter in peaceful Chechnya than the president of a republic at war.
We deny and have always denied having the slightest link with al-Qaeda.
It is not advantageous for Russia in its present state to fight against Chechnya. The army is a mess. It must be made combat ready. That will take time. Russia has a lot of economic, social and political problems much more important than Chechnya.