The hostage incident happened on September 1 in Russia's North Ossetia region caused a death toll of more than 340 people, which has drew the world's concerns and mourning with a bitter lesson and consequences. For all that the terrorist activities in Russia are very furious, the determination of the Russian government and people in fighting against terrorism has not been shaken. Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated Russia's firm stand against terrorism when he held an interview with international media in Moscow on September 6.
This is President Putin's first appearance before the international media since the end of the Russian hostage crisis. During the interview, the topics of conversation were heavy with intensive views confrontation. When answering Western journalists' questions on if Russia holds talks with Chechen illegal armed forces, Putin asked in severe terms that, "Why don't you talk with Osama bin Laden? Why don't you invite him to Brussels or White House for talks and ask him what he wants, and then give him what he wants and let him go away quietly.'' "Why do we talk with those killing children? No one has right to teach us with morality!" As a state leader, what Putin said angrily expresses the anti-terror determination of the Russian people and deals a. heavy to those with easy sayings.
Getting to the root of the mater, both the United States and the Western countries cannot change their fault of pursing double standards either on the international anti-terror battlefield or on the issue of dealing with the Chechen unlawful armed forces. When he had an interview with the international mass media on September 6 Putin said clearly, "Whenever Russia protests against the talks held between the Unites States and the Chechen separatists, the Unites States has always replied in this way: 'We have the right to hold talks with those we are willing to'.'' He also criticized some US government officials for calling Chechen separatists as "freedom fighters''. Putin heckled in ridicule, "Bin Laden raids US by taking the US Middle East policy as reason and you also call him "freedom fighter''? In this Putin pointed out that there are full of "cold war" ideas in some of US officials' mind. They have always asked Russia to hold talks with Chechen separatists, showing a lack of "intuitive knowledge''.
Facing the confident criticism from Russia, spokesman from the White House Richard Boucher came out recently to explain that the Unites States has never advocated holding talks with Chechen anti-government armed forces. However, the Russian media believed that media from US and Britain are not be trammeled when they express the decision-making views by the US and UK authorities. They and the heads of the terrorists spread the ideas: Russia should quit the North Caucasus.
The article is carried on the People's Daily newspsper, Sept. 09, 2004, and translated by People's Daily Online