#2 - JRL 7038
Aide to Russian president welcomes US change of heart on Chechnya
Source: RTR Russia TV, Moscow, in Russian 0800 gmt 28 Jan 03
[Presenter] Russia expects the US administration to place the Chechen rebels on the list of international terrorist organizations, aide to the Russian president Sergey Yastrzhembskiy has said.
He was taking part in a photo exhibition entitled "The fight against international terrorism in Chechnya: the difficult path to peace". Photographic studies are on display at the Russian Cultural Centre, which tells the story of the battle against terrorism and the restoration of normal life in Chechnya. Yastrzhembskiy has a series of meetings scheduled in Washington with representatives of the US administration, leading political scientists and journalists. And, as the aide to the Russian president noted, the US is no longer dismissive of the Chechen problem but is now talking about it in the general context of the international terrorist threat.
[Yastrzhembskiy] It's obvious that now, unlike the past, the US realizes perfectly well that what's going on in Chechnya stems to a large extent from the efforts of the international terrorism network which at one time tried to exploit the weakness of the Russian state to create a terrorist enclave in Chechnya. After lots of meetings in the US capital, what can be sensed is that people see what's happening in Chechnya in a new light in many ways and that includes seeing it as their own problem.