A court in the Russian province of Ingushetia on Tuesday October 30th overturned a land swap deal with another North Caucasus region that caused large-scale protests.
Ingushetia’s Constitutional Court claimed that a new border agreement with Chechnya was unconstitutional, saying the border law was “inconsistent with the Constitution of the Republic of Ingushetia.”
According to the court’s decision, a referendum has to take in place in Ingushetia in order for the border law to be legally approved.
As reported by AP, Ingushetia’s leader Yunus-Bek Yevkurov contested the ruling, saying the court had overstepped its authority. He argued that the land swap remains valid and only Russia’s Constitutional Court has the power to decide whether it conforms to the federal law. Yevkurov reiterated his opinion that the agreement would help strengthen stability and warned against using the issue to inflame regional tensions.
The Kavkaz Uzel news website disclosed that participants of the 1st World Congress of Ingush People, currently taking place in Ingushetia, welcomed the decision of the Constitutional Court.
The land swap has triggered protracted protests in Ingushetia, where many saw it as a betrayal of the region's interests. Its opponents have called for Yevkurov to be removed from power.