U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell has included three terrorist groups operating in Chechnya in the list of international terrorist organisations whose members are banned from entering the United States.
The ban on entering the U.S. is also valid for the financial supporters of these terrorist groups.
According to the U.S. Department of State, Mr. Powell's decision will toughen U.S. sanctions on terrorists operating in the Chechen republic.
Mr. Powell's decision involves such terrorist organisations as the Islamic International Brigade, al-Jihad Fisi-Sabilia Special Islamic Regiment, and the Riyad-us-Salkhin Reconnaissance and Sabotage Battalion of Chechen Martyrs.
The Bush administration earlier included all these groups in the list of international terrorist organisations, whose assets in the US were frozen and confiscated on the basis of a law on combating financial sources of terrorism.
So far, nothing is known about the U.S. sanctions regarding other odious organisations operating on Chechen territory against the federal forces. The Russian special services believe the other groups are equally detrimental to Russia. These groups include the Supreme Military Majlis-ul-Shura (council) of the Mojaheddin Forces of the Caucasus, headed by Chechen terrorist chief Shamil Basayev, who has won control over the so-called Ichkerian president (as the Chechen separatists refer to the Chechen republic) Aslan Maskhadov. The Congress of Ichkerian and Daghestani People, headed by Mr. Basayev and Movladi Udugov, the "propaganda minister" of Chechen separatists, who is now hiding abroad (presumably, in Turkey) is another such group.
France is used to terminating large-scale contracts, as that was the case of the Russian-French deal on Mistral helicopter carriers