Russia's Constitutional Court overrules Ingush high court and upholds controversial borderland deal with Chechnya

Meduza

Russia’s Constitutional Court has upheld a controversial agreement between Ingushetia and Chechnya that surrenders disputed territory to Grozny. During the trial, representatives for both Ingush leader Yunus-bek Yevkurov and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov told the court that their agreement complies with Russia’s Constitution.

Ayub Gagiev, the head of Ingushetia’s Constitutional Court, refused to attend the hearing, stating publicly that approval of the agreement falls within the purview of his court, not the federal court. Judges on Russia’s Constitutional Court, however, ruled that Gagiev’s court lacks jurisdiction on this matter.

The Ingush-Chechen agreement was reached on September 26 and ratified by the Ingush Parliament on October 4. In late October, Ingushetia’s Constitutional Court declared the ratification to be unconstitutional, arguing that a republic-wide referendum is needed to approve the agreement. Yevkurov said the Ingush court’s ruling wouldn’t overturn his deal with Kadyrov, and promised to take the matter to Russia’s Constitutional Court.

For weeks in October, thousands in Ingushetia protested against Yevkurov’s border agreement for weeks, leading to dramatic scenes of street demonstrations and confrontations with Ramzan Kadyrov’s entourage.