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Bastrykin apologizes to Muratov, conflict with Novaya Gazeta over

June 14, 2012, 19:39 UTC+3

The two men thanked each other for understanding and shook hands in public at a meeting in Moscow

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MOSCOW, June 14 (Itar-Tass) — Alexander Bastrykin, the head of the Russian Investigations Committee, and Dmitry Muratov, the editor-in-chief of the Novaya Gazeta newspaper, have smoked the pipe of peace.

The two men thanked each other for understanding and shook hands in public at a meeting in Moscow.

“I would like to start with presenting my apologies to Dmitry Muratov for my emotional reaction during a conference,” Bastrykin told the chief editors of Russian media outlets on Thursday.

Muratov said that the conflict was over and reconciliation with Bastrykin had taken place.

Journalist Sergei Sokolov will be able to return to Moscow soon.

Novaya Gazeta has recently published an open letter of its chief editor Dmitry Muratov who blamed the Russian Investigations Committee chief for threatening journalist Sergei Sokolov in a fit of anger after he had published an article on a verdict to Sergei Tsepovyaz in connection with mass murder in the Kushchevskaya settlement. Sokolov apologized to Bastrykin after the article had come out. But Bastrykin didn’t accept the apologies. Muratov claimed that upon his return from Nalchik (where a conference took place on June 4), Bastrykin met Sokolov in a forest near Moscow and issued threats to the journalist.

In his open letter, Muratov demanded security guarantees for Novaya Gazeta’s employees from Bastrykin. “I hope that we will be able to overcome our reciprocal emotional outbursts (if that wasn’t something more),” Muratov said.

Russian State Duma deputy Sergei Khinshtein said earlier on June 11 that that a conflict with Bastrykin was possible.

For his part, Alexander Bastrykin has denied taking journalist Sokolov to a forest. “No one took away anybody. We had a very emotional conversation,” Bastrykin told Izvestia, adding that both he and Sokolov had raised voices on each other.

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