Russian president Vladimir Putin accused the U.S. of aiding Chechen Islamic rebels in its war against Russia. He said the information was obtained by Russian intelligence via intercepting phone calls between the North Caucasus separatists and the U.S. secret services.
U.S. helped Chechen Islamic insurgents
Mr Putin made the allegations in a documentary titled ‘The President,” aired on April 26 through state-owned Rossiya-1 TV channel, the Daily Mail reported.
“At one point our secret services simply detected direct contacts between militants from the North Caucasus and representatives of the United States secret services in Azerbaijan,” Mr Putin was quoted as saying.
“When I told the U.S. president about it, he said ‘I’ll kick them in the backside.’ Ten days later, the senior staff in the FSB got a letter from their colleagues in Washington saying we’ve maintained relations with all of the Russian opposition in the past and we’ll continue to do so,” Mr Putin said.
Putin said that the U.S. has always viewed Russia as its main geopolitical rival.
“Someone over there, especially the West’s intelligence services, obviously thought that if they act to destabilize their main geopolitical rival, which, as we now understand, in their eyes has always been Russia, it would be good for them. It turned out, it wasn’t.”
Mr Putin further alleged that U.S. aid to the insurgents went as far as providing them with transportation.
He then criticized the U.S. and the European Union for attempting to suppress Russia’s growth as one of the world’s most powerful country. He said the sanctions imposed on Russia in relation to its annexation of Crimea were aimed at restraining this growth.
“We have witnessed such attempts during Russia’s entire history, dating back to tsarist times. This attempt to deter Russia, this policy, has been known for a long time, for centuries. There is nothing new,” Putin said.
Putin reminded everyone that world leaders have once said that Russia will soon be crumbling into nothingness.
“My counterparts, a lot of presidents and prime ministers told me later on that they had decided for themselves by then that Russia would cease to exist in its current form. The only question was when it happens and what consequences would be.”
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