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
The Americans came to realise that they would have to either leave the region or weaken their presence there. It is Russia that is filling the vacuum now