This is a sure thing to happen. It was absolutely clear that in the current situation of friendship and cooperation between Russia and the USA, such a statement was just a question of time. It took time to brace up, to get rid of certain stereotypes. The public opinion also needed the time to get used to Russia’s new image – not of a bear, but more of a teddy bear. The major thing has been said: NATO approved Russia’s actions in Chechnya. NATO Secretary-General George Robertson, who is visiting Moscow said that NATO “had a different look” on the issue of terrorism in the republic of Chechnya. Robertson made this statement making a speech at the Diplomatic Academy of Russia.
“We now understand that Russia’s cautions about the threat of terrorism were not motivated with just a necessity to sweep aside the West’s critics pertaining to the Chechen campaign.” – said he. Robertson noticed that Russia’s long-term goal was the stable and peaceful republic of Chechnya within Russia, where the citizens would be protected, that it would not be a base for terrorists. At the same time, Robertson added, that NATO country-members were still concerned about the population in Chechnya.
Reuters photo: Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov (L) and Nato Secretary-General George Robertson talk as they meet in Moscow, November 22, 2001