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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

No Force for Hostages

MOSCOW -- Moscow will continue to use exclusively diplomatic methods to secure the release of the crew of the Russian IL-76 plane that has been held for nine months in Qandahar by the Taliban Afghan opposition movement, Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Albert Chernyshev told Interfax on Sunday.

Diplomatic negotiations are "the sole reasonable way to achieve a favorable solution of the problem which, however, demands patience and thorough work," Chernyshev told the agency.

Chernyshev denied speculation that Taliban made additional demands for the release of the seven hostages, who have been held since last August. "These rumors are untrue. The Talibs are satisfied by the fact that the Russian side has met their conditions," he said, but added that the situation surrounding the release "is currently suspended."