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    MOSCOW, October 16 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Interior Ministry is against any escalation of tensions regarding cases of killing foreign citizens in Russia. A statement to this effect was made Saturday by the head of the Interior Ministry's Chief Criminal Investigation Department Vladimir Gordiyenko.

    "I think no one should escalate the situation around these cases. We have had no outburst of crime regarding foreign citizens lately," Mr. Gordiyenko said, commenting on the recent murders of a Vietnamese national in St. Petersburg and Uzbek nationals in the Moscow Region.

    According to him, cases when Russian citizens fall victim to criminals carrying foreign passports are much more frequent at present. In this connection, he called on the media to give more objective reports on all such cases. As an example, he referred to the media coverage of the murder of a Tajik girl in St. Petersburg at the beginning of 2004, pointing out that the number of media reports on this case substantially decreased after the police detained the culprits.

    "Speaking without prejudice, most of these crimes are not ethnically motivated," Mr. Gordiyenko said. According to him, the criminal in most cases does not know the nationality of the person he attacks. The assailant sees in the former just a victim, a target of his aggression. Only afterwards the law enforcers investigating the case pay attention to the victim's nationality.

    "It is not always correct to emphasize the victim's nationality in reporting crimes committed against foreign citizens," Vladimir Gordienko pointed out. According to him, conflicts frequently arise from a disorderly conduct of assailants who in following their violent instincts make no difference as to whom they attack.

    "If the victim and the assailant were of the same nationality the outcome would be the same," Mr. Gordiyenko added. Then, referring to his extensive contacts with foreign colleagues, the head of the Chief Criminal Investigation Department pointed out that Russia is a country of the utmost ethnical tolerance.

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