Putin: US action in Iraq may be explained by "awareness of threat after September 11th"

Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that one of the reasons for the USA military action in Iraq might be "feeling of threat after the September 11th terrorist attacks, hurt pride and the need of self-affirmation," he said in a conversation with journalists in Evian.

When speaking on the relations between Russia and the USA after the conflict in Iraq, the Russian leader said, "Russia's position on Iraq was consistent and rather rigid, and the US President could behaved differently, he could take offence, to refuse to go to St.Petersburg and to do many other things to aggravate situation with Russia. But he behaved as a serious politician".

As to Russia, "it would be stupid to sulk and turn away, to create new coalitions, to split the world community," the President believes.

Russia would stick to its principal position on international problems, but will simultaneously try to strengthen the unity of the world community, he emphasized.

"The USA is one of Russia's leading partners in economic and political fields," Putin pointed out. He recalled that the two countries were the world's leading nuclear powers and "a lot in the world depends on our relations."

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