Most of the terrorists who carried out the horrifying acts of terror in the USA were not Afghans, but mainly citizens of Saudi Arabia, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov said as speaking at a meeting of the Upper Chamber of the Russian Parliament Wednesday. The minister stressed that "the terrorists, including the bandits in Chechnya, received tremendous financial support from Saudi Arabia." And that continues to this day, noted Sergei Ivanov. Ivanov said that "we are putting that issue very squarely before our Western partners." The minister also noted that Osama bin Laden and the Taliban regime are two sides of one and the same medal. An attempt to separate them and say that bin Laden is bad, while part of the Taliban members are good holds out no prospect. Regretfully, said the minister, the West did not heed Russia's voice sufficiently attentively, but the September 11 events confirmed that Russia was quite right. The Minister stressed that Afghanistan "is a breeding ground of terrorists -- of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and Chechen gunmen, as well as others." "Those who were trained there were noticed everywhere -- from the Philippines and Indonesia to the Balkans," declared Sergei Ivanov. The Minister believes that within the framework of the anti-terror operation in Afghanistan it is necessary to coordinate international cooperation in the all-sided provision and exchanges of information on the infra-structure, the whereabouts of international terrorists and their training bases. According to Ivanov, it is also necessary to organize and maintain permanent cooperation between the interested ministries and agencies. It is also necessary to ensure coordination of actions in providing military support and agreement with the legitimate government of Afghanistan on granting the necessary assistance and its practical implementation, noted the head of the Russian Defence Ministry.
Mysterious philanthropist, Rustem Magdeev, had agreed, at his own expense, to donate a sculpture of Rudolf Nureyev, made by Russian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, to the Kazan Opera and Ballet Theatre