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Airing of Basayev's interview does not affect U.S.-Russian relations - Russian expert

MOSCOW, July 29 (RIA Novosti) - The airing of Basayev's interview will most likely not affect U.S.-Russian relations, Alexander Konovalov, Director of the Institute for Strategic Assessments and Analysis, said Friday.

"Although U.S. Charge d'Affaires in Moscow Daniel Russel was summoned by Russian Foreign Ministry officials, it was mainly a gesture of protocol, a mere formality," he said.

At the same time, he said the airing of Basayev's interview contradicts the concept of a Russian-U.S. partnership. "It is as if Russia published an interview with organizers of the September 11 terrorists acts in the U.S.," the expert said.

According to Konovalov, ABC's actions do not serve to bring the two countries closer to a truly effective partnership, including in the fight against terrorism.

"We can accept the fact that the West lets Zakayev speak in public because his guilt has not been proven from the point of view of the Western justice system. As to Basayev, nobody, even in the United States, doubts that he is a terrorist who is responsible for the murder of innocent people," Konovalov said.

He also quoted London Mayor Ken Livingston who said after the bombings in the British capital that the double-standard policy applied to Middle Eastern countries, Afghanistan, and Iraq led to the spread of terrorism and the creation of Al Qaeda.

The Russian expert added that the global community must abandon its double standards in order to triumph over terrorism.

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