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U.S. Says Still Considers Chechnya Part of Russia


20 August 2004 -- The U.S. State Department says the United States still considers Chechnya a part of Russia after the self-declared foreign minister of the breakaway republic was granted political asylum by a U.S. state.

Ilyas Akhmadov was granted asylum in Boston, Massachusetts earlier this month.

The decision angered Moscow. The Russian Foreign Ministry said the decision showed Washington was "setting double standards in the fight against terrorism." Moscow accuses Akhmadov of terrorism and of links to an armed incursion in the Russian republic of Daghestan in 1999.

U.S. State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said asylum decisions are made by the courts. Ereli said "these decisions are not statements of policy."

(AFP)
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