Vladimir Putin: The Ultimate Goal Of The International Anti-terrorist Campaign Is To Eradicate Terrorism In Afghanistan As Well As Around The World

The ultimate goal of the international anti-terrorist campaign is to "eradicate terrorism in Afghanistan as well as around the world," Russian President Vladimir Putin told US journalists in the Kremlin on Saturday. Putin also stressed the importance of destroying the roots of extremism and the channels that finance it so that "people could feel safe." "We are engaged in a land operation against international terrorism on the territory of the North Caucasus," he noted, adding that the Chechen problem was "much more complicated than the problem of international terrorism, but we obviously have international terrorists functioning in the North Caucasus as well." According to the president, various countries send for participation in the anti-terrorist campaign one or two thousand people, but "we got more than 3,000 killed in the North Caucasus already," he said. He also pointed out that the Russian army restrains the people who want to "go to Afghanistan and kill Americans." "Our armed forces are restraining them, and loosening the grip means all those people will head for Afghanistan and do what I've just said," went on Putin. "It is Americans they want to destroy, not American servicemen," he explained, referring to radio interception materials he had handed over to George W.Bush during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Shanghai.

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