George Robertson Says NATO Now "looks With Different Eyes" At Problem Of Terrorism In Chechnya

NATO now "looks with different eyes" at the problem of terrorism in Chechnya, said George Robertson, Secretary-General of the North Atlantic alliance, speaking on Thursday at Russia's Diplomatic Academy. "We now realise that Russia's warnings about the danger of terrorism were not motivated merely by the need to sweep away the West's criticism of the Chechen campaign," he said. Robertson noted that Russia's long-term goal is a peaceful and stable Chechen republic within Russia, where citizens are under the protection of the Russian constitution and which is not a base for international terrorism. At the same time, Robertson remarked that NATO allies continue to experience concern for the destiny of the civilian population in Chechnya. But this aim /a peaceful and stable Chechnya within Russia/ is fully shared and supported by us, the alliance's secretary-general said. According to him, the new spirit of relations between NATO and Russia hardly means that from now on Moscow and the alliance will agree between themselves on practically all issues. "We will still have differences," Robertson believes. But, he is convinced, we should have open discussions and try to understand each other, rather than right away suspect one another of worst motivations.

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