Vol. 5 Num 418 Sat. July 30, 2005  

Russia summons US envoy over Basayev interview

Russia's foreign ministry summoned the US charge d'affaires Friday and expressed "strong indignation" over an interview aired on the ABC television network with radical Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev.

Daniel Russell, currently heading the Moscow embassy in the absence of the permanent ambassador, was summoned to hear "strong indignation with the fact of the airing of the Basayev interview on a national American television channel," a ministry spokesman told AFP.

Basayev, a veteran separatist guerrilla leader in the decade-old conflict with Russia, has claimed responsibility for several large-scale attacks on civilians, including last year's bloody mass hostage-taking at a school in Beslan, near Chechnya.

In his interview, thought to be the first face-to-face meeting with a journalist in years, Basayev said that similar attacks could be staged in the future.