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Wednesday, 26 September, 2001, 12:59 GMT 13:59 UK
Jonathan Charles in Moscow
Transcript


Newshost:

L.Y.Rao, Mumbai - India asks: How far does Russia really trust the USA and how long will this "living in" arrangement last?


Jonathan Charles:

Well it definitely is a "marriage of convenience" there is no doubt about that. I think it will last as long as President Putin believes it is useful to him. He thinks there are great, long-term diplomatic advantages to siding with America. I think genuinely obviously he and many Russians have been shocked by the images that they have seen on Russian television of the actual attacks themselves in Washington and New York. So that was the original motivation but there's no doubt he wouldn't have sided with America if he didn't believe there's something in it for Russia.

Now it may be that President Putin thinks he can get long-term leverage as America discusses its anti-missile shield. It may be there's long-term diplomatic leverage to be had as well in discussions on the enlargements of Nato. Also closer to home there is the whole issue of Chechnya. President Putin has made it clear that he regards many of those from Chechnya as terrorists - to use his words - and that he will pursue action against them. At the moment he is also trying to pursue a peace strategy in Chechnya. So he believes that maybe the quid pro quo for helping the Americans on all this - even if it is only limited help - will be to have less Western criticism of Russian action in Chechnya itself and the war there.


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