Possible land swap in Russia's North Caucasus draws concerns

October 06, 2018 - 10:21 am

MOSCOW (AP) — The regional legislature in the Russian province of Ingushetia has decided to review a land swap deal that has raised tensions in the country's volatile North Caucasus region.

Last month, Ingushetia and the neighboring province of Chechnya agreed to exchange what they described as unpopulated plots of agricultural land. The agreement was approved by Ingushetia's parliament earlier this week, triggering massive protests.

On Saturday, local lawmaker Set-Salim Akhilgov told a rally in the provincial capital of Ingushetia that the vote had been annulled. Akhilgov was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying that lawmakers decided to consider the issue again on Monday.

The tensions over the land swap reflect deep-running distrust between the two mostly Muslim regions, which share the same language but have been divided by land and other disputes.