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Russian Defense Minister Bars Contact With US Television Network

Russia's defense minister took action against a U.S. television network Sunday for airing an interview with Chechen militant Shamil Basayev.

Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said the ABC television network will be denied access to anyone connected with his ministry. Foreign ministry officials has also expressed disapproval, but said they will allow ABC to remain in Russia.

In the broadcast, Mr. Basayev, who has claimed responsibility for past terrorist attacks, said he was planning more attacks to stop what he called the genocide of the Chechen people.

Last week, Russia expressed "strong indignation" to the United States over the interview, saying it ran counter to the spirit of Russian-American cooperation in the global fight against terrorism. The U.S. State Department restated that Washington considers Mr. Basayev a terrorist, but said that ABC news had a constitutional right to air the interview.

Some information for this report provided by AFP, AP.