Russia demanded that Britain halt a planned broadcast by Channel 4 television of an interview with &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/hotspots/2002/08/15/34642.html' target=_blank>Chechen rebel commander &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/main/18/88/351/14325_basayev.html' target=_blank>Shamil Basayev, who claimed responsibility for the Beslan hostage taking that killed more than 340 people.
"The Russian embassy in Britain has approched the British authorities asking them to stop the broadcast of this interview. The Russian representatives pointed to the negative consequences of permitting propaganda of terrorist views," a foreign ministry statement said, wrote the Turkish Press.
"We perceive such an action as the latest step in information support of terrorists active in the North Caucasus," the ministry said.
"We are certain that such an irresponsible step in disseminating to a wide viewership the views and threats of a bandit who is being searched for through Interpol and who is on the list of the counter-terrorist committee of the &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/hotspots/2003/03/21/44762.html' target=_blank>UN Security Council runs counter to the efforts of the international community in fighting terrorism," the ministry said.
In the interview with Channel 4 News, Basayev expressed regret for the hundreds of deaths in the June hostage-taking attack on the school in the Russian town of Beslan. But he was also quoted as saying that the separatist rebels are planning more such operations, according to the Scotsman.