News / Europe

Putin Calls for US-Russia Intelligence Sharing

Russian President Vladimir Putin takes questions as part of a live broadcast in Moscow, April 25, 2013.
Russian President Vladimir Putin takes questions as part of a live broadcast in Moscow, April 25, 2013.
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— Russian President Vladimir Putin has often complained that he battles alone against terrorism by Islamic extremists.

Putin called on Washington and Moscow Thursday to share security information to fight terrorism.  He said the need for unity was illustrated by the Boston bombings, which U.S. law enforcement authorities say were carried about by ethnic Chechens on American soil.

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​He said if that if Moscow and Washington truly join forces, “we will not allow these strikes and suffer such losses."

Putin was speaking at his annual marathon TV call-in show. Sitting at a desk behind a laptop computer, Russia’s 60-year-old president talked for nearly five hours, answering 85 questions out of nearly 2 million that were sent by telephone, email and SMS.

Frequently combative, he accused the U.S. Congress of “imperial behavior” for passing human rights laws directed at Russia. He said gay marriage would never be accepted by Russian society, and he opposed Muslim girls wearing the hijab head covering in Russian schools.

He was asked about the wave of trials of opposition leaders that have taken place in Russia in the year since he returned to the Kremlin last May.

As he spoke, Alexei Navalny, Russia’s most prominent opposition leader, was on trial in a provincial capital nearly 1,000 kilometers from Moscow.

He said that there are no political prisoners in Russia and that the trials are in response to violations of the law.

Putin rejected an opposition journalist's observation that Stalinism could be creeping back into Russia. The president said Russia needs “order and discipline.”

The Russian president said he received two letters earlier this year from Boris Berezovsky, a Russian oligarch who lived in exile in London. Last month, Berezovsky was found dead at home, apparently a suicide.

Putin said that Berezovsky wrote that “he had made many mistakes, asked for forgiveness and to return to the motherland.”

After 12 years of running Russia, Putin retains strong approval ratings. A nationwide poll completed on Monday by the Levada Center gave him a 63 percent approval rating.

Adding a bit of spice to a nationally televised event that often seems staged, Alexei Kudrin, a former Putin finance minister, criticized the president’s economic policy.

Kudrin said the current policy of “half-hearted measures and half reforms” will not succeed in moving Russia away from its dependence on oil exports.

Putin jokingly retorted that Kudrin is a "slacker" for recently turning down a government post.

But the Russian president also went out of his way to shower praise on his former finance minister.

Russia’s economic growth is slowing. To the west, Europe is in a recession. To the east, China’s growth is slowing. Analysts say that if Russia falls into a recession in coming months, Putin could tap Kudrin to be prime minister.

During the show, Putin said the economic slowdown is provoking debate inside the government, but there is no dispute between him and his protégé, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

The brothers came to the United States as boys. U.S. authorities say they do not believe the brothers were affiliated with a larger terrorist network and that they acted alone.

James Brooke

A foreign correspondent who has reported from five continents, Brooke, known universally as Jim, is the Voice of America bureau chief for Russia and former Soviet Union countries. From his base in Moscow, Jim roams Russia and Russia’s southern neighbors.

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Comments
     
by: david lulasa from: tambua,gimarakwa
April 26, 2013 7:44 AM
sharing of intelligence is what russia is not doing...america has recently shared with burundi about a pending terror attack at the end of this month....the world and russia should share intelligence with the united states when it(USA) is under threat or anyone thinking of bombing there and anywhere else should stop.



by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
April 25, 2013 10:15 AM
By his above cited words Mr Putin looks as if following the saying: “When there is no happiness then misadventure will help”.
I mean his sour relations with the West after the rigged elections and the Boston bombing. He uses the latter to speedily mend his relations with the West and to look helpful and resourceful. The haste and assertiveness of such announcement makes me think as if he has expected the bombing (or something more sinister) to have happened. But in his call on “pushing Russia and the USA closer” I see two logical mistakes:

1) Nobody has yet proved (and I’m certain won't prove) that the brothers in question were international terrorists. They have never lived in Chechnya.
2) He tries to convince the USA that the bombing has proved rightness of his rejection to seek a political settlement in Chechnya.

In Response

by: Nirivichara from: Dallas,TX
April 26, 2013 11:40 AM
Childish nonsense.

Putin is much more mature that many western politicians including Obama and is not playing childish "conspiracy games"
Terrorism that is coming basically from Quatar and Saudi via ALQaueda is a real and clear danger fro all countries including US. That fact that US is supporting terrorists is making things for US and the rest of the world. That's real Putin's point and he's absolutely right about it


by: Michael from: USA
April 25, 2013 9:34 AM
The U.S.'s humanitarian aid came as a result of much handshaking which allowed for the representatives from Chechnya to set out their version of events to the West, but there still remained a mountain of research that would have shown how a political stand makes sense as a back-drop to the separatist war, including radical Islam's part around the regional scene of action

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