Vladimir Putin has ruled out involvement of any foreign mediators whatsoever, including the United Nations, in Chechnya settlement. When asked in a live call-in show at the NPR radio about a possibility of involving intermediaries, the Russian leader said briefly: "No!" "Chechnya is part of the Russian Federation, emphasized the president, adding that "it is our duty to resolve our own domestic problems." The Chechnya problem is not confined to terrorism only but is more complicated a problem having long historical roots, said the Russian head of state. Fundamentalists and terrorists are exploiting this problem now, he added. Asked what advice he could give President Bush as to how to deal with terrorism, Vladimir Putin said the most important thing, in his judgement, is public support - the public's readiness to offer a rebuff to terror and trust for the country's political top. I have a feeling that America possesses everything of the above, said the Russian president.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea