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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Chechen Envoy Blasted

BAKU, Azerbaijan -- Russia has hit out at a move by its breakaway republic Chechnya to send an official representative to Azerbaijan, saying Moscow alone could decide who represents its interests abroad, a Russian Embassy official said Friday.

An embassy spokesman confirmed that the Russian ambassador in Azerbaijan, Alexander Blokhin, issued a statement in which he challenged strongly the right of the representative, Ali Asayev, to represent Chechen interests.

"All persons announcing themselves as representatives of Chechnya in Azerbaijan in fact are nothing of the sort and can only be considered private individuals," the statement read.