The seminar, "Sadullaev's Caucasian Front: Prospects for the Next Nalchik", was sponsored by the non-governmental organization The Jamestown Foundation and "calls were made for carrying out fresh terrorist attacks on Russian territory" during the event, the ministry said in a statement.
The title of the seminar contained references to Abdul-Khalim Sadullayev, the political leader of Chechen separatist forces, and the city of Nalchik in Russia's North Caucasus, where a brazen attack by Chechen rebels last October left more than 100 people dead.
"It was stressed to the ambassador that the holding of such events on US territory is contrary to the international obligations of the United States in the fight against terrorism," the statement said.
Maybe I shouldn't be the one to say this but ... quid pro quo.
I think it should be stressed to the Russian ambassador that,
- Selling conventional arms (missles most notably) to Iran, a nation whose leader has repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel and,
- Providing nuclear technology to Iran, which is clearly and transparently moving towards building nuclear weapons and,
- Defending Iran at the UN Security Council, despite the IAEA asking for Iran to suspend refining of uranium and,
- Providing $10 Million in funds to the Hamas led government, without requiring the disarmament of Hamas or its self-declared status as a militant terrorist organization calling for the destruction of Israel and,
- Continued weapons sales to Syria and,
- The former Russian ambassador to Iraq providing covertly acquired military intelligence to the Iraqi government regarding US and coalition military forces, prior to the Iraq war,
Russia shouldn't expect favorable behavior from the US government, when Russia is doing everything it possibly can to fund and arm nations which support Muslim extremism and terrorist acts against the United States. In fact, the Russian government's own recent behavior would be akin to the US government funding and arming Chechens. The US hasn't come close to that and this seminar was sponsored by an NGO, but can you imagine the Russian reaction if it happened?
Even if what Russia says about this seminar is true (and I believe it probably is true) it is mild compared to the accumulation of actions by the Russian government against US interests over the past several years. The indignation on Russia's part regarding recent calls by members of the US Congress should only be exceeded by their wonderment over what took the US government so long to respond.
I expect some sort of mild rebuke or statements by the US government. However, we do still have the First Amendment in this country (at least when it suits the government) and I can't see where the US will do much to the NGO's involved.
In short, the Russian government expects favorable treatment from the US ... when they provide nothing of the sort in return.
Further note: From the Jamestown Foundation website, the seminar was a total of 3 hours, with the following scheduled speakers and topics:
Sadullaev's Caucasian Front: Prospects for the Next NalchikDiscussion
Date(s): 04/14/2006 - 04/14/2006
Location: Washington, D.C.
Description: Featuring three distinguished contributors to Jamestown's Chechnya Weekly, Eurasia Daily Monitor and Terrorism Monitor.
Friday, April 14, 2006, 9:30 A.M. – 12:30 P.M.
The Choate Room (1st Floor)
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
1779 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
09:30 a.m. - Registration
10:00 a.m. - Welcome - Mr. Glen E. Howard, President, The Jamestown Foundation
10:15 a.m. - Instability in the Caucasus: An Overview - Mr. Ivan Sventsistsky, Coordinator, Yalta Initiative for Peace in Chechnya, Moscow
10:45 a.m. - Islam, Jamaats and Regional Implications - Dr. Andrew McGregor, Director, Aberfoyle International Security, Toronto
11:15 a.m. - The Chechen Resistance: New Faces, New Strategies - Mr. Mairbek Vatchagaev, Ph.D. Candidate, L'École des Haute Études en Science Sociales, Paris
11:45 a.m. -
12:15 p.m. - Concluding Remarks - Mr. Glen E. Howard, President, The Jamestown Foundation
It isn't difficult to guess when the calls for "fresh terrorist attacks on Russian territory" were made or misinterpreted. It would be my guess it was within the 30 minutes scheduled for "The Chechen Resistance: New Faces, New Strategies" by Mr. Mairbek Vatchagaev. The animated gif image above is from a online petition where Mairbek Vatchagaev was one of the initial signers
It is also worth noting that the Jamestown Foundation has issued a statement, Jamestown Denounces Moscow's Distorted Accounts of North Caucasus Conference.
Russian State Television, Foreign Ministry Falsely Manipulate Coverage of North Caucasus
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- April 18, 2006
Contact: Glen E. Howard , +1 202.483.8888
WASHINGTON, DC (4/18/06)--The Jamestown Foundation today denounced a Russian state-owned television report on a conference examining instability in the North Caucasus, calling the coverage distorted, manipulative and patently false. The April 14th conference, entitled "Sadullaev's Caucasian Front: Prospects for the Next Nalchik" assembled independent experts from around the world to assess Russian policy and Muslim separatist movements in the region.
"ORT's false reporting on The Jamestown Foundation is a throw-back to Soviet-style manipulation and propaganda," declared Jamestown Foundation President Glen E. Howard. "Far from advocating terrorism, Jamestown's publications and public events provide American and Russian policy makers with the insights they need to prevent catastrophes like the September 2004 hostage crisis in Beslan and the October 2002 Moscow theatre siege."
The report, which ran April 15th on Kremlin-controlled ORT Television, falsely alleged that the Jamestown Foundation is advocating future terrorist attacks in the North Caucasus and incorrectly implied that the United States government is supporting Muslim separatists in the region. The report also speculated wildly about the role of U.S. Vice President Richard Cheney, a long time friend and supporter of the Jamestown Foundation.
"The Jamestown Foundation produces five publications, including Eurasia Daily Monitor and Chechnya Weekly, which covers developments in Chechnya and the North Caucasus," explained Howard. "The Jamestown Foundation is a leader in providing independent, fact-based analysis about instability in Eurasia and global terrorist activities. The notion that Jamestown and the U.S. government are promoting terrorism in Russia is not just absurd, it also shows just how paranoid the Kremlin's repressive regime has become."
The ORT report also featured prominently in today's formal protests to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, in which the Russian Foreign Ministry alleged U.S. support for terrorist attacks in Russia. The Jamestown discussion did not feature terrorists, but included a group of independent experts to discuss recent developments in the North Caucasus. The participants included two Americans, a Canadian, a Paris-based Chechen historian and an independent journalist from Russia.
"The Russian Foreign Ministry's protests come at a time when the Kremlin is shuttering independent media, systematically repressing human rights organizations and funding the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas," argued Howard. "Accusing Jamestown and the U.S. government of promoting terrorism in Chechnya and the North Caucasus is not just ironic, but blatantly hypocritical."
Russia USA Iran Chechnya Jamestown Terrorism