Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson

Russia expects U.S. to consult over war - Putin

LONDON, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with the Financial Times he expects the United States to consult Moscow before taking the "war on terrorism" beyond Afghanistan.

He was quoted in Monday's edition as saying the top priority should be blocking the financing of terrorism and he specifically warned against military action in Iraq.

Asked if he expected Washington to consult him before embarking on any further military actions, Putin said: "Yes, we expect this."

With the Afghan war now winding down, there are growing signs that the United States may consider expanding its anti-terrorism offensive to Iraq.

After the September 11 hijack attacks, President Bush vowed to destroy "terrorist" groups with a global reach -- and Putin appeared to support that stand.

"We believe the fight against terrorism will not be over with the military operation in Afghanistan. It cannot be finished by this," he said in the interview.

"Primarily we should talk about ways to block the financing of terrorist activities. And so far I have no confirmation, no evidence that Iraq is financing the terrorists that we are fighting against."

Putin said the international community was concerned about Baghdad creating weapons of mass destruction.

"We should convince the Iraqi leadership to allow United Nations observers and controllers to sites and facilities inside Iraq...in exchange for lifting of sanctions," he said.

But he openly questioned the effectiveness of past bombings of Iraq by British and American warplanes.

"As for possible use of force, we should look at the productivity of what has been done in this regard so far," he said.

"I don't know if any (sites) have been destroyed. The bombing has been there but the results have not been there," he added.

Back to the Top    Next Article