Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Russia seeks France's explanation following Zakayev's Strasbourg visit

Russia seeks France's explanation following Zakayev's Strasbourg visit

MOSCOW. June 29 (Interfax) - The authorities in Moscow are concerned over Chechen separatist envoy Akhmed Zakayev's trip to Strasbourg and have asked Paris to provide an explanation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a news conference after talks with his Dutch counterpart Maxim Verhagen on Friday.
"We have serious questions in relation to Zakayev's visit to Strasbourg. We have asked the French authorities in charge of these issues to offer their explanations regarding the matter," he said.

Reasons for Litvineko’s conversion to Islam revealed?

Free Media Online, Dec. 29, 2006 — Exiled Chechen emissary Akhmed Zakayev revealed that although dissident Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko had converted to Islam on his deathbed, he had been considering such a move for a long time. Mr. Zakayev said that Mr. Litvinenko grew up in the North Caucasus among Muslims and was always interested in their religion. According to Mr. Zakayev, Mr. Litvineko was ashamed of Russia’s actions in the Chechen war and this also influenced his conversion. Mr. Zakayev said that Mr. Litvinenko wanted to show that not all Russians behave the same way as those responsible for atrocities in Chechnya. Mr. Litvinenko died in a London hospital on November 23 from exposure to the highly toxic radioactive substance polonium-210.
Mr. Zakayev was granted political asylum in Great Britain. The British government has refused Moscow’s requests for his extradition. The Russian authorities accuse Mr. Zakayev of foreknowledge of terrorist attacks and other crimes involving hundreds of killings and captures of Russian servicemen during the separatist wars in Chechnya. He has denied these accusations.

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