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    UNLAWFUL SEIZURE OF RUSSIANS IN QATAR RUNS COUNTER TO PRINCIPLES OF STRUGGLE AGAINST INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM - EXPERT

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    MOSCOW, FEBRUARY 26 (RIA NOVOSTI) - The unlawful seizure of Russians in Qatar runs counter to the principles of struggle against international terrorism, Vladimir Akhmedov, Candidate of History and a staffer of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said to RIA Novosti in an interview.

    "The unlawful seizure of three Russian nationals in Qatar and the attempt of the authorities of Qatar to shift on them the responsibility for the attempt at Zelimkhan Yandarbiev's life runs across the lines of the main principles of struggle against international terrorism, which the entire international community is waging," Akhmedov said.

    To him, Russia has of late appreciably reinvigorated its Middle East policy, seeking a comprehensive development of contacts with Arab countries, including Qatar.

    "Such actions of the authorities of Qatar upset Russia and also the Arab Muslim countries, the majority of which are actively opposing the attempts to link terrorism to Islam and come out for the earliest settlement of Chechnya," the expert said.

    This has been demonstrated by the recent visit of Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov to Saudi Arabia.

    On the night from February 18 to 19, in the capital of Qatar, Doha, the local secret services seized three Russian nationals being on a business trip to the Russian embassy. One of them was later set free and is now in the embassy.

    "The arrest was made with the use of arms and rude force," Russian acting foreign minister Igor Ivanov has said in the statement.

    "The said Russian nationals, one of whom has a diplomatic passport, are officers of the Russian secret services. Being assigned to the embassy, they stayed in Qatar on legal grounds and, without violating the local laws, performed information-analytical goals of opposition to international terrorism," Igor Ivanov stressed.

    Russian acting foreign minister Igor Ivanov summoned the ambassador of Qatar in Moscow and demanded from the authorities of Qatar an immediate release of the unlawfully detained Russians.

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