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#18 - JRL 2006-202 - JRL Home
Russian minister downplays incident in Karelian Kondopoga
RIA Novosti

Nizhniy Novgorod, 7 September: Russian Federation Regional Development Minister Vladimir Yakovlev has said the events in the Karelian town of Kondopoga should not be directly linked to interethnic strife.

"This cannot be directly linked to the topic of interethnic strife, although we do not rule out this factor as well, but they (events) take place under the influence of quite different circumstances," Yakovlev told journalists in Nizhniy Novgorod during a break in the conference on "The dialogue of cultures and interfaith cooperation".

According to Yakovlev, events similar to those that happened in Karelia are taking place in other regions of Russia. "Groups quite often meet each other, particularly at night-time and being in a state of alcoholic intoxication, and create a situation as a result of which people die," the minister said.

Mass riots took place in Kondopoga last week after two local men were killed in a drunken brawl. People of Caucasian origin are suspected of being involved in the crime.