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
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
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.