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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin Likens Terrorists to Nazis

APPutin piloting a speedboat with Kocharyan, left, at Lake Sevan in Armenia on Friday. He warned the U.S. not to retaliate hastily.
YEREVAN, Armenia -- President Vladimir Putin on Saturday compared the terrorist attacks in the United States to atrocities committed by the Nazis, but cautioned against hasty retaliation.

Tuesday's attacks in the United States could "be compared in scale and cruelty to what the Nazis were perpetrating," Putin said in a speech at Yerevan University during a visit to Armenia. It was a strong statement given the massive destruction and millions of lives the Soviet Union lost fighting the Nazis.

"The main lesson [we] should draw from this tragedy is the need to strengthen our own and international security," Putin said.

Putin urged a new worldwide outlook on security that focuses on the threats of large-scale terrorism, and on cooperation among governments to fight it. He did not elaborate on what this "new system of security" should look like.

"We talked a lot about the threat of terrorism, but apparently we didn't find the words that would have persuaded the world community to create an effective defense against international terrorism," he said.

The Federal Security Service said Saturday that Russian officials had warned American counterparts of a threat of terrorist attacks on the United States.

The FSB, in remarks carried by Russian news agencies and television, claimed "due attention" was not paid to the warnings. There were no details about the threat or warnings.

ORT television reported that a group of FSB experts would be sent to the United States to help with investigations.

Earlier Saturday, Putin said at a news conference with Armenian President Robert Kocharyan that the evil behind the American attacks "should be punished, but in so doing we should not become like bandits that act from behind a corner, we should proceed from true facts."

Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said force may be needed to combat terrorism, but the consequences must be taken into consideration.

"One cannot rule out any measures, including force, when fighting terrorism," Ivanov said at a news conference.

"It is necessary," he added, "to calculate their consequences."

Ivanov, accompanying Putin on his trip to Armenia, cautioned, "military action alone cannot solve the problems, this is obvious."

Ivanov spoke in general terms and did not say Russia would take part in any possible strikes against those giving sanctuary to Osama bin Laden, named as suspect No. 1 in the terrorist acts in the United States.

Ivanov did say that the Russian delegation to the UN General Assembly session in New York is proposing "a whole package of specific measures to fight terrorism."

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Patriarch Alexy II also spoke Saturday against retaliation for the terrorist attacks that would threaten civilian lives.

On Friday, Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov rejected the possibility of launching any Western-led military campaign against Afghanistan, where bin Laden is suspected to be taking refuge, from what Moscow considers its own backyard.

"I don't see any basis for even the hypothetical possibility of NATO military operations on the territory of Central Asian nations that belong to the Commonwealth of Independent States," Ivanov said.

The Central Asian states condemned the attacks Friday. But Tajikistan, which shares a border with Afghanistan that is guarded by thousands of Russian troops, ruled out Sunday the possibility of launching any Western-led reprisal attacks against Afghanistan from its territory.

Meanwhile, U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton arrived in Moscow on Sunday to prepare for a meeting in New York between U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and Foreign Minister Ivanov.

Bolton and his Russian counterpart, Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov, were originally set to meet in London on Wednesday, but the meeting was postponed at the request of the United States following the attacks, Itar-Tass reported.

Bolton and Mamedov are to meet Monday to discuss the attacks, U.S. missile defense plans, the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and the meeting between Powell and Ivanov scheduled for Wednesday, U.S. officials said.

(AP, Reuters)