Presidential Aide Rules Out Russian Military Involvement In Afghanistan

A RIA Novosti correspondent reports that Russian presidential aide Sergei Yastrzhembsky has categorically ruled out the possibility of Russian military participation in the anti-terrorist operation in Afghanistan. During a meeting with journalists at the Russian consulate in New York, Yastrzhembsky stressed that Russia's involvement in the operation would be limited to political co-operation and inter-action between special services. Yastrzhembsky said that any suggestion that Russia would become involved militarily could be ruled out. According to the presidential aide, Russian and US special services had established a confidential relationship with a mechanism to exchange information on a permanent basis, rather than from time to time, which had previously been the case. He added that this included data about Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda and bandit formations in Chechnya. Yastrzhembsky indicated that Russia had possessed information before the events of September 11th, but "unfortunately, our partners in the West did not take it entirely seriously."

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