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Putin backs action based on facts

Putin in Armenia
Russian President Vladimir Putin is on a two-day visit to Armenia  


By CNN Moscow Bureau Chief Jill Dougherty

MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- Moscow has moved closer to supporting military retaliation for this week's attacks on the United States, but is stressing action should be taken based on reliable facts.

President Vladimir Putin, in Armenia, said "evil should be punished, but we should not put ourselves on the level of bandits who act surreptitiously, we must operate on reliable facts".

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said "One cannot rule out any measures, including force, when fighting terrorism."

The head of the FSB, successor agency to the KGB, Nikolai Patrushev, told CNN and Russian television: "Those individuals, those organisations, that prepared this terrorist act should get their deserved punishment. There is no doubt about that.

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CNN's Jill Dougherty has more on the warnings that Russia has been sending to the West (September 15)

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"At the same time, the measures the United States is developing, in my view, must correspond to international legal norms, the decisions of the United Nations and its Security Council, and must be based on correct information.

He added: "No innocent people should suffer. So any strikes that might be carried out should be specifically targeted and precise."

The FSB chief also conceded the possibility that international terrorist Osama Bin Laden, who he agreed is prime suspect in the U.S. attacks, might have to be killed.

He said usually, when talking about criminals, the aim was to arrest the perpetrator and turn him over to the courts.

However, Patrushev added: "We have experience where when a suspect offers armed resistance, in order to avoid casualties, it is possible to kill him."

Patrushev says Russia did know where bin Laden was, and tried to follow his movements, but because of this weeks events, bin Laden has changed his location.

The FSB says he is still in Afghanistan and the FSB Director said: "We will find out where he is and inform our colleagues."

Ivanov has told CNN that rebels in Russia's own breakaway republic of Chechnya are being funded by bin Laden.

Russia supports calling an emergency meeting of the Group of Eight nations to coordinate efforts in fighting terrorism.

This weekend, the U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton will visit Moscow and next week Deputy Undersecretary of State Richard Armitage will meet Russian officials in Moscow.







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