The Russian Foreign Ministry hopes that the United States will take a decision on the case of what is called the "foreign minister" of Chechnya Ilyas Akhmadov minding the position of Russia, official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Yakovenko told journalists in Moscow on Friday. He was commenting on the publications and statements appearing in the United States on the possibility of granting Akhmadov political asylum in that country.
Alexander Yakovenko said that Moscow has noted the publications and statements by certain legislators and non-governmental organisations appearing in the American mass media as actually calling for granting Akhmadov the political-refugee status.
"The American side knows our attitude to this henchman of terrorists", said the official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry.
On December 18, 2003 the "foreign minister" of Chechnya Ilyas Akhmadov once again asked the American authorities for political asylum. Adam Ereli, official spokesman for the United States Department of State, has confirmed this information on Friday.
The Russian law-enforcement agencies have proofs of Ilyas Akhmadov's contacts with Aslan Maskhadov, President of the self-proclaimed "Republic of Ichkeria", and Shamil Basaev, chief of the Chechen bandit formations. The latter is on international search.
An explosion of household gas occurred in a nine-storeyed apartment building in the city of Shakhty, the Rostov region of Russia. The blast destroyed two storeys of the building