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Putin Accuses West Of Double Standards On Terrorists

(file photo) 17 September 2004 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin today accused the West of "double standards" in its attitude toward terrorism, saying that indulging terrorists amounts to complicity in terror.

"We have confronted double standards towards terrorism," he said. "Even today, these views, pernicious for the world peace and universal security, are not overcome. There are still attempts to classify terrorists as 'ours' and 'theirs,' as 'moderate' and 'radical,' which in effect leaves loopholes for terror, convenient loopholes in the public mind. There still exists an indulgent and all-excusing attitude toward killers, which is tantamount to abetting terrorism."

Putin's comments came after a recent series of terror attacks, including a massive hostage taking at a school in southern Russia which ended in the killing of more than 330 children, teachers, and their parents.

In a message to Russian media today, Chechen militant Shamil Basaev allegedly claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Putin said Western calls for a dialogue with Chechen separatists recalled the failed appeasement of Nazi Germany ahead of World War II.

He said Russia was "seriously preparing to act preventively against terrorists."

(international agencies)

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