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    RUSSIAN TALIBAN MEN TO BE TAKEN HOME FOR TRIAL FROM GUANTANAMO - RUSSIA'S FOREIGN MINISTRY

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    MOSCOW, FEBRUARY 2. /RIA NOVOSTI / -- Russian nationals siding with the Taliban during the Afghanistan war and now kept in Guantanamo /the United States' military base in Cuba/ will very soon be returned to Russia for trial, Russian first deputy foreign minister Vyacheslav Trubnikov told the Russian media in a Monday interview.

    "In keeping with the instruction of Russian President Vladimir Putin, we together with the Prosecutor General's Office have gone a long way to return the Russian citizens kept by the United States in Guantanamo", he said.

    A principled agreement was reached in late 2003 to pass them to the Russian side. Relative technicalities are now being agreed.

    Trubnikov said: "An unprecedented level of interaction has been reached in the struggle against international terrorism, other dangerous challenges of our times".

    "In a joint search for answers to these challenges, the Russian side, receiving a blow from international terrorism in Chechnya long before September 11, 2002 and in line with the decision taken by the Russian and American presidents, a special bilateral group was set up. Its sat for the first time in 2000", recalled Trubnikov.

    Ten sittings of the group have ever since been held in Russia and the United States, alternatively. In May 2002 the two presidents took a decision to turn the working group countering threats emanating from Afghanistan into an antiterrorist working group. A regular, 11th sitting, is to be held before the end of March, Trubnikov said.

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