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CHECHNYA LINKS LIBRARY

February 13th 2002 · Associated Press · PRINTER FRIENDLY FORMAT · E-MAIL THIS

Russia: War Ideas Weaken Coalition

MOSCOW (AP) -- Russian said the U.S.-led coalition fighting terrorism has weakened because members are applying double standards.

A Foreign Ministry statement said coalition countries needed to stop differentiating among terrorists as "good ones and bad ones."

"Those who advocated ideas of the Cold War and geopolitical standoff, including the use of various terrorist groups as a foothold operating in different regions of the world, are again rearing their heads," the ministry said.

The statement showed a continuing Russian sensitivity to criticism of its war in Chechnya and claimed again that international terrorists were battling Russian troops in the breakaway region.

While issuing muted criticism of the Russian conduct in Chechnya, the United States has acknowledged that terrorists have fought with Chechen separatists against Russian forces.

And earlier this week Washington promised aid to the former Soviet republic of Georgia to root out terrorists holed up in a gorge bordering Chechnya.

President Vladimir Putin was the first world leader to extend condolences to President Bush after the Sept. 11 terror attacks and has been an enthusiastic supporter of the U.S.-led military campaign in Afghanistan.

However, Bush's recent criticism of North Korea, Iran and Iraq -- seen by some as a sign that the United States intends to extend the campaign to those countries -- put Russia in an awkward position because of its friendly ties will all three.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal earlier this week, Putin warned against U.S. military action against Iraq, saying that the situation in the Persian Gulf nation was different from Afghanistan and that only the U.N. Security Council could sanction an attack.

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