Moscow bans U.S. network ABC-TV from operating in Russia

Russian authorities will not renew permission for the American ABC-TV network to operate in the country after it broadcast an interview with notorious Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the U.S. television network would be considered "undesirable" by all Russian state agencies because of an interview with Basayev, which was broadcast last week.

The ministry called the broadcast a "clear fact supporting the propaganda of terrorism" and said it contained "direct vocal calls for violence against Russian citizens."

In response to the broadcast, the ministry said it decided "not to renew the accreditations of employees of this television company after they expire."

The Foreign Ministry is the main government agency authorizing foreign media outlets to work in Russia and the decision effectively bars ABC now from working here.

On Friday, the Foreign Ministry complained to a top U.S. diplomat about the interview with Basayev, who has claimed responsibility for some of Russia's most terrifying terrorist attacks, including last year's hostage seizure at the school in Beslan.

In the interview conducted by Russian journalist Andrei Babitsky, Basayev, who has a US$10 million bounty on his head, said he was plotting more attacks, the AP reports.

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