Kosovo Deputy Prime Minister, Behgjet Pacolli, has decided to join the team of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) head Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who in the west is known as controversial Russian politician, and close ally of Russian President, Vladimir Putin.
Kosovo’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Behgjet Pacolli, has joined the team of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov who for more than two decades is president of the Wold Chess Federation (FIDE) and vowed to stand for re-election in October. At the time he headed the FIDA Ilyumzhinov came under US sanctions because of his alleged links with Syrian President Bashar Al Assad. Gazeta Express got hold of a document of the World Chess Federation, which proposes former Kosovo President Pacolli to become part of Ilyumizhnov team who is running for another term as FIDE Presiden. Ilyumizhnov has been president of Fide since 1995. In case of winning another mandate Ilyumizhnov has proposed Pacolli as his deputy.
Gazeta Express has contacted Behgjet Pacolli who said that it was FIDE representatives who proposed him to become deputy president of the World Chess Federation. “Of course they have proposed my name, but I did not take any decision,” Pacolli told Express, when asked whether he was proposed by FIDE or he supports current President of FIDA for another term. But Pacolli said that he knows very well former president of the Russian internal republic of Kalmykia. “I know the president of Kalmykia, I know him very well,” said Pacolli. Ilyumzhinov was elected the first president of Kalmykia, an autonomous southern region in the Russian Federation, in 1993, spending 17 years in the post. He first drew international attention in the late 1990s, claiming in a television interview that he had been abducted by aliens and visited another planet. He has also drawn controversy, sparking protests when he tried to schedule the 1996 match between Gata Kamsky and Anatoly Karpov in Baghdad and flying to Tripoli to play chess with Muammer Gaddafi in 2011, just as a NATO bombing campaign was underway.