Wars and Military Conflicts

Chechnya threatens to arm Mexico against US


The Russian satellite state of Chechnya has threatened to supply weapons to Mexican rebels to aid a conflict against the United States, in a move that has been quickly quashed by the Russian Kremlin.

Dukuvakha Abdurakhmanov, the speaker for the Chechen parliament, reacted angrily this week to the U.S. Congress which on Monday agreed to a non-binding resolution that called on U.S. President Barack Obama to supply lethal aid to Ukraine.

Abdurakhmanov said that the U.S. had no right to urge Russia to behave in a certain way to its near neighbors and questioned the legal status of territories like California, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and Wyoming.

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In a published statement on the legislature's website Tuesday, he said that Chechnya would begin the delivery of new weapons to Mexico and mentioned the arming of "Guerrillas" in the region. He urged the U.S. Congress to abandon their "imperialist ideas of grandeur."

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The southern Russian republic of Chechnya has been given a significant amount of autonomy after wars between separatists and Russian soldiers in the region but has not gained full independence from Moscow. Its own parliament, currently led by the pro-Moscow United Russia party, was established in 2003 and regularly meets in the Chechen capital of Grozny.

Moscow, meanwhile, has downplayed any ideas that the Chechen speaker may have had. An official response from a Kremlin spokesperson on Thursday said that any possible arms supplies to Mexico would be inconsistent with Russian law, according to the Russian Interfax news agency.

Timothy Ash, the head of emerging markets at Standard Bank, told CNBC via email that he thought the threat to be "not very serious."

"I doubt Mexico would want to damage its own relationship with the U.S. by playing to this agenda," he said.

In 1848 , the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo put an end to the 1846-1848 Mexican–American War with the agreement that meant Mexico ceded several territories to its northern neighbor.

The threat comes the same week as the U.K. has sent extra military support to one of its overseas colonies, the Falkland Islands, amid concerns that it is facing increased risk of attack from Argentina, backed by Russia.

Two troop-carrying Chinook helicopters and a new surface-to-air missile system have been sent by the country to the remote islands in the South Atlantic, known as Las Malvinas in Argentina.

—CNBC's Catherine Boyle contributed to this article.