Russia Will Not Participate In Military Operation In Afghanistan - Igor Ivanov

The anti-terrorist operation in Afghanistan is a "forced measure which must have a clearly expressed aim, and it is not aimed against Islam and Moslems," Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said on Monday. Speaking at the State Duma, the lower house of Russian parliament, he said Russia "will render support for the Northern Alliance and humanitarian aid to the people of Afghanistan, but it will not participate in military actions." According to the foreign minister, the most important thing today is "to prevent a humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan." Ivanov said "the situation in Afghanistan cannot be changed by military actions alone." To avert the threat of terrorism, the international community will need "solidarity, coordination of efforts, and renunciation of double standards." Speaking of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, Ivanov compared them to "the use of weapons of mass destruction, for which the international community was not ready."

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