Blair and Putin
lnp3 at SPAMpanix.com
Fri Aug 18 11:56:32 MDT 2000
The Times (London), July 21, 2000, Friday
Blair puts his faith in ties with Putin
By Philip Webster, Political Editor in Tokyo
TONY BLAIR is expected to visit Russia this autumn for his fourth meeting
in a year with President Putin.
The Prime Minister, who will meet Mr Putin at the Group of Eight summit
today, will take another step towards strengthening ties with Russia,
despite the doubts of other world leaders, such as President Chirac of
France, and some misgivings within the Foreign Office. Most of the G8
leaders are anxious to be briefed by Mr Putin on his talks in North Korea,
but M Chirac has declined the opportunity. Relations between Russia and
France are frosty because of Chechnya.
Mr Blair has decided that the West should support Mr Putin's economic
reforms and that engagement with Russia is the best course for Britain and
Europe. He regards Mr Putin as a fellow moderniser. Mr Putin is expected to
ask the G8 to reschedule Russia's Pounds 27billion debt if he can show that
his reforms are working.
Sunday Times (London), March 12, 2000, Sunday
British terror experts give help to Russians
By Eben Black and Mark Franchetti
WHITEHALL'S intelligence agencies have been sharing anti-terrorist
information with Russia, British sources revealed yesterday during Tony
Blair's visit to St Petersburg.
The disclosure came during talks between the prime minister and Vladimir
Putin, Russia's acting president. Putin had asked Blair to send British
anti terrorist experts to advise troops who are fighting Muslim rebels in
There is no suggestion that Britain is assisting in the war against
independence campaigners in Chechnya. But Blair's aides said Russia and
Britain had shared concerns about Muslim terrorist organisations which
might seek to foment trouble in the region or beyond. Information on
international terrorists had been traded and this would be stepped up.
"We do not know the extent to which international terrorists are causing
trouble in Chechnya," said Blair's spokesman.
"There is already work that goes on. The security services of the two
countries have not been friendly in the past. That is something to talk
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