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Russia continues claims against Dushanbe without pressure in public

November 14, 2011, 18:46 UTC+3

The Russian embassy has repeatedly appealed to the Tajik leadership, the Foreign Ministry and state security bodies, Lavrov said

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KHABAROVSK, November 14 (Itar-Tass) ——Russia will continue to demand Tajik answers on the case of Russian pilot Vladimir Sadovnichy, but Russia will not warm up the situation in public, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told journalists on Monday.

"When people say that the Russian diplomats have done nothing, this is not true,' the minister stressed. One should always think about people so as to do them no harm. If the goal had been to show in public how quickly and angrily Russia had been demanding justice we would have done that, given that we have all the necessary facts. But, realizing the nuance of the situation we proceed from the assumption that while demanding answers formally and in a tough manner we should not "warm up " the situation in public, Lavrov stressed.

Regrettably, people often pick up bits and pieces of information and begin making political and angry conclusions, he said. Lets us recollect the chronology of the events from the very beginning. On May 16 Russia did not know yet that the pilots had been detained, although since March 12 the pilots had been kept in a hotel under house arrest while the Tajik security bodies had been studying the situation. Thus, a representative of the Rolkan Company first informed us about the incident on May 16 - two months after the pilots had been detained. "It is not known why he had not informed us earlier," Lavrov stressed.

We were not told why our citizens had been arrested and were suspects in a crime committed against the Tajik law, the Russian minister said. We also have questions to the airline company which obviously had been attempting for two months to settle the incident without making it public, Lavrov said.

On May 17, or on the following day after the Russian embassy was told that the Russian people were detained, the Russian ambassador to Dushanbe wrote corresponding letters to the Tajik Foreign Ministry and the National State Security Committee. The Tajik side forwarded its answer to us two weeks later without offering direct explanations of the incident, Lavrov said. All the Tajik Foreign Ministry mentioned was a list of articles of the Criminal Code on which the pilots were accused.

Since then Russia has ensured its presence at all judicial proceedings, the Russian minister assured. The Russian embassy has repeatedly appealed to the Tajik leadership, the Foreign Ministry and state security bodies, Lavrov said.

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