Al-Jazeera's long-serving Moscow bureau chief, Akram Khazam, said Monday he had been fired, and a Russian Islamic leader claimed the dismissal was in response to protests over allegedly anti-Muslim statements by the journalist.
Khazam, in an interview with Moscow's Ekho Moskvy radio, dismissed the accusations by Geidar Dzhemal, head of Russia's Islamic Committee, that he had insulted Islam.
However, Khazam said he believed "the Islamic factor played a role" in his dismissal because, in his view, "there were no professional reasons" for it.
In a statement posted on a Web Site for Russian Muslim journalists, Dzhemal said he had long pressed the Qatar-based channel to sack Khazam as Moscow bureau chief.
Khazam and Dzhemal could not immediately be reached for comment Monday, AP reported.
The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation put the head of the contractor company of Russia's space corporation Roskosmos, Sergei Slastikhin, on international wanted list
"Washington operators of the sanctions machine ought to get acquainted with the history of Russia, to stop the unnecessary fussing," spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry said