Incidents » Terrorism
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Notorious interview with terrorist leader Shamil Basayev complicates US-Russian relations

The Foreign Affairs ministry of Russia is not going to prolong ABC News journalists' accreditation in Russia

The Foreign Affairs Ministry of Russia has finally exposed its attitude to the US private television company ABC, which has recently aired the interview with the leader of Chechen terrorists, Shamil Basayev. There will be no immediate measures taken against ABC's journalists, as Russian diplomats stated before. Russia's Ministry for Defense thus remains the only department, which decided to stop any contacts with ABC News.

The American company will be entirely deprived of its accreditation in Russia in the future, though: the Foreign Affairs Ministry is not going to prolong it. In addition, the management of Radio Svoboda, the journalist of which, Andrey Babitsky, interviewed Shamil Basayev, will have to present its explanations to the Foreign Affairs Ministry and clarify its participation in the notorious interview.

The interview with Shamil Basayev aired on American television proved that US authorities stick to the policy of double standards in their approach to this or that international terrorist. The US government could forbid the private-owned American company to air the interview with the person, who killed hundreds of innocent children in Beslan. Shamil Basayev is included on the UN's black list of international terrorists, which gives every reason to stop the broadcast of any interview with him without violating journalistic integrity.

Andrey Babitsky, the journalist, who interviewed the leader of Chechen terrorists, is an employee of an American media outlet, Radio Svoboda (Radio Freedom), which is funded by the US Department of State. Therefore, the US government can exert influence on virtually all state-run media outlets: it would not have been a hardship for American authorities to ban the scandalous interview.

The USA prefers to stick to another point of view, though: American officials are certain that they must condemn all terrorist acts, but they can not prohibit an independent company from airing this or that interview, for it could be classified as a violation of freedom of speech.

It is obvious that journalists of the American TV channel were simply trying to advertise their company and improve the rating of their news program. Furthermore, the journalists definitely enjoyed the moral support on the part of the official American authorities. It is an open secret that the US-Russian relations cannot be described as a strategic partnership within the framework of the anti-terrorist coalition.

The USA defends its interests worldwide, trying to prove its correctness everywhere, even if American interests come into confrontation with Russian views. The USA is ready to provide informational support to Chechen terrorists to undermine Russia's influence in the strategically important Caucasian region. It goes without saying that Russia has a right to act accordingly at this point and decline ABC News journalists accreditation in Russia.

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