Meeting took place. Reaction was known

“Having solemnly received a representative of the Chechen rebels, the US administration with all its “resoluteness” has shown what side it really takes in the international struggle against terrorism,” Aleksandr Yakovenko, a high-ranking official at Russia’s foreign ministry is quoted as commenting on the reception in the US of an envoy of the Chechen terrorists. “It is only left to add that if earlier such a move of a great and civilized country could be viewed as just unnatural, after the latest bloody crimes perpetrated by Chechen terrorist in the Stavropol Territory, the act done by Washington can be characterized as immoral,” his statement says. Ilyas Akhmadov, the representative of the Chechen rebels, was received yesterday in Washington by Acting Secretary of State John Baerly, the meeting lasting for nearly 3 hours – PRAVDA.Ru has already written of such a meeting being likely to happen. Russia has expressed its highly negative attitude towards such a meeting occurring at an official level. Unfortunately, the voice of Moscow was not heard, although the Bush administration officially recognized Chechnya to be part of Russia. Such a meeting should only have taken place at the consent and with immediate participation of Russian officials. Moreover, the State Department refused to say how and when the American visa had been issued to Mr. Akhmadov. James Collins, US ambassador to Russia says cooling down of the relations between the two countries because of the above demarche is not on the agenda implying that such incidents are likely to recur in the future. Still, the American side has come out with a statement denouncing the recent terrorist acts in the Stavropol Territory, which looks fairly strange after receiving a representative of Chechen rebels who may have been involved in those acts. Although the US State Department has not yet officially confirmed the fact of the meeting taking place, it is not mater much/ after all. The positions of the sides have always been clear.


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