Moscow has confirmed reports published by British officials about Chechen rebels’ links with al-Qa’ida. British Foreign Office spokesman Denis MacShane said earlier that Chechen extremists have been maintaining long-established contacts with terrorists based in Afghanistan under the Taliban.
He added that some of the foreign terrorists, who were trained in Afghanistan and connected with al-Qa’ida, had chosen to fight in Chechnya. “This statement by the British Foreign Office representative fully coincides with information provided by Russia on many occasions,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko told the press on Tuesday. “In our opinion, this statement provides further proof about growing global awareness of the criminal essence of the illegal armed formations operating in Chechnya as part of international terrorism,” Yakovenko said.