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    QATAR VIOLATES INTERNATIONAL LAW

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    MOSCOW, February 26 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - The Qatar authorities detained Russian citizens and accused them of engineering the attempt on the life of Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev in circumvention of international law in an unprecedented move. This is the opinion that Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the State Duma international affairs committee, expressed in a RIA Novosti interview.

    The attempt on Yandarbiyev's life can be interpreted as a provocation against Russia, said Kosachev. "The life attempt did not accidentally coincide with the stay of Russian special services' official representatives in Qatar," said the Russian parliamentarian.

    "Either way, Russia's alleged involvement in the life attempt was obviously a political order," said Kosachev.

    Kosachev recalled that Russia had repeatedly requested that the Qatar authorities hand over Yandarbiyev who was on the wanted list for involvement in a series of terrorist acts on Russia's territory.

    "In essence, Russia demanded that Qatar comply with the UN's anti-terrorist decisions," stressed Kosachev.

    Apparently, after Yandarbiyev was killed by unidentified persons, the Qatar authorities "opted for an easier way by placing suspicions on Russia." This way the Qatar authorities are trying to hit several targets at a time: to legitimize the stay of the internationally wanted criminal on their territory and somehow present him as a victim of the Russian prosecution." Besides, the Qatar authorities are seeking to place in doubt all the charges against Yandarbiyev.

    The parliamentarian expressed the hope that "the Qatar authorities will do everything possible to catch the real mastermind of the life attempt and give up the seemingly beneficial political versions that lead to a dead-end in terms of investigation and diplomacy." The three Russian citizens who were on a business visit to the Russian embassy were arrested in Doha, Qatar's capital, by local special services in the early hours of February 19th.

    " The arrest was made with the use of weapons and rude physical force," said Russia's acting foreign minister Igor Ivanov.

    He remarked, "the Qatar authorities had not only detained the Russian citizens by force but also failed to notify the Russian embassy about their actions in violation of the basic norms of interstate relations.

    "Moreover, Russian citizens were not allowed to meet Russian embassy representatives for seven days, thereby violating international law," runs Igor Ivanov's statement.

    The Russian foreign ministry demanded that the Qatar authorities immediately free Russian citizens who were illegally detained and allow them to return home.

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