Vladimir Putin is unhappy with the American policy towards Chechnya (even if he likes Bush):
MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that mid-level officials in the U.S. government were undermining his country’s war on terrorism by supporting Chechen separatists, whom he compared to al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
In the wide-ranging meeting which lasted almost four hours, Putin said he likes President Bush, calling him a friendly, decent, predictable person.
But Putin said each time Russia complained to the Bush administration about meetings held between U.S. officials and Chechen separatist representatives, the U.S. response has been “we’ll get back to you” or “we reserve the right to talk with anyone we want.”
Putin blamed what he called a “Cold War mentality” on the part of some U.S. officials, but likened their demands that Russia negotiate with the Chechen separatists to the U.S. talking to al Qaeda.
These are not “freedom fighters,” Putin said. “Would you talk with Osama Bin Laden?” he asked.
Putin’s comments came a few weeks after the U.S. granted asylum to Ilias Akhmadov, the “foreign minister” of the Chechen separatist movement.
Reports about a Russian-American alliance seem to be somewhat premature.