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Vladimir Putin gave an interview to NBC television network

June 2, 2000

In his interview with NBC television network on the eve of a meeting with U.S. President Bill Clinton, Vladimir Putin said the Russian side was ready to hand in specific proposals to the American colleagues on coordinating international efforts in warding off a missile threat, no matter what country or group of countries it is targeted against – the United States, its allies, the whole of Europe, or Russia.

In the opinion of the Russian President, this is more reasonable than the creation of separate ABM systems aimed against nuclear “rogue” countries.

Answering the question about fears of foreign businessmen to invest in the Russian economy, Vladimir Putin stressed that law and order in Russia would be strengthened and property rights would no doubt be guaranteed. The President said he attached great importance to the economic course Russia would follow, and called the ineffective economic policy the greatest potential threat to his country.

Asked whether Boris Berezovsky and other businessmen of similar calibre would retain their huge economic influence in the country, Mr Putin said that Russia was too vast a country to be dependent on one or several persons.

Touching upon the situation in Chechnya, Mr Putin said that the federal troops would stay in the republic. It is evident today, Mr Putin stressed, that if they left Chechnya, its territory would again be used by terrorists as a bridgehead for attacks against Russia.

Speaking about Russia’s future, the President stressed that democracy was the only alternative to the communist idea.

June 2, 2000