Putin hopes Boston prompts closer US, Russia anti-terror work
MOSCOW - Agence France-Presse
Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in a live broadcast nationwide phone-in in Moscow April 25, 2013. REUTERS PhotoRussian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday expressed hope that the Boston bombing tragedy would result in closer cooperation between Moscow and Washington in the fight against terror.
"I hope this tragedy pushes us closer to one another in stopping shared threats," Putin said during his live televised call-in session in Moscow, saying Russia was also a victim of "international terrorism".
But Putin criticised excessive "speculation" about the Boston suspects' Chechen origins as a possible motivation for their embrace of terror.
"We can endlessly speculate on the tragedy of the Chechen people in the period of exiling them from Chechnya by the Stalin regime. But were Chechens the only victims of those repressions?" Putin said, adding that the Russian people suffered from Stalin repressions more than anyone else.
"It is not about nationality or belief," he said. "It is about extremist moods of those people." The entire people of Chechnya were deported to Central Asia under Stalin over accusations of collaborating with German forces in World War II. The father of the bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was born in Kyrgyzstan.
Putin added he was "outraged" when Western media describes militants who commit attacks on Russian territory as "rebels".
"It has always outraged me when our Western partners... called our terrorists, who carried out beastly, bloody, disgusting crimes on Russian territory, nothing but 'rebels', and almost never 'terrorists'," Putin said.