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Russia Rules Out Talks with Terrorists Following Deadly Moscow Blast - 2004-02-06

Russian President Vladimir Putin says Russia has a strict policy against negotiating with terrorists, and rejected any possibility of renewing talks following Friday's deadly bombing on the Moscow metro. At least 39 people were killed in the attack and well over 100 were wounded.

President Putin has again ruled out talks with terrorists, including Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov, because he says such actions only encourage more violence.

Mr. Putin said in remarks broadcast on Russian television that there are always renewed calls for peace talks with Chechen separatists after acts of violence like Friday's bombing. He says that leads him to believe that anyone making those calls are indirectly linked to Mr. Maskhadov. And he stated unequivocally that Russia rejects talks with terrorists.

President Putin says Russia does not talk to terrorists but rather, "destroys them."

Despite his long-standing pledges to stamp out Chechen terrorists, near daily attacks occur in and around Chechnya, in neighboring regions, and now increasingly in Moscow. The separatists have been fighting for independence from Russia for most of the last decade.