Putin, Bush Back Pakistani President
President Vladimir Putin spoke up in support of President Perwez Musharraf of Pakistan. US President George W. Bush, too, said that the Pakistani President deserved American support, while the summiteers were addressing a joint news conference in the White House. Russia views such support as correct in the current situation, the Russian President said as he approved the US stance on the matter. President Putin is much more alarmed now with terrorist training bases and an opportunity for terrorists to penetrate the North Caucasus than with allegations of influence spheres eventually redivided to enhance US impact on Central Asia, he said. Uzbekistan and Tajikistan are independent states, and are choosing their allies independently, stressed the Russian President.