Putin says attacks in Iraq aimed to prevent Bush's reelection

&to=http://english.pravda.ru/main/18/88/350/13132_Putin.html' target=_blank>Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is in Tajik capital of Dushanbe on a visit, said Monday that the terrorist attacks in Iraq were aimed at preventing US President George W. Bush from being reelected.

He said at a press conference that he considered &to=http://english.pravda.ru/hotspots/2002/07/08/31978.html' target=_blank>the terror attacks in Iraq are aimed more at President Bush than at coalition forces in a bid to prevent him from gaining a second term.

He warned that if the terrorists achieve the goal, then that will provide a new impulse to international terrorism, leading to more attacks throughout the world.

But the Russian president did not say which candidate he favors, stressing his country would respect the choice of US people in the Nov. 2 presidential election, which pits Bush against Democrat John Kerry.

In his speech, Putin reaffirmed his opposition to the US-led war on Iraq, saying "Russia was always against the military operation in Iraq," informs Xinhua.

According to The Boston Globe, "I consider the activities of terrorists in Iraq are not as much aimed at coalition forces but more personally against President Bush," Putin said at a news conference after a regional summit in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe.

"International terrorism has as its goal to prevent the election of President Bush to a second term," he said. "If they achieve that goal, then that will give international terrorism a new impulse and extra power."

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