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Tuesday, 6 November, 2001, 18:42 GMT
India and Russia united over terrorism
Atal Behari Vajpayee arrives in Moscow
India and Russia believe they have common problems
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee have pledged to step up the battle against international terrorism.

All those who have resorted to arms in order to resolve political disputes... should not be tolerated

Vladimir Putin
After talks in Moscow, the two men signed an agreement setting out ways to combat the threat.

For both Mr Putin and Mr Vajpayee the fight against terrorism has long been a cornerstone of domestic policy.

Russia's battleground is the Caucasus, the enemy are the Chechen fighters it brands as terrorists and bandits.

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India's zone of conflict is Kashmir, the scene of attacks by Islamic militants.

After their Moscow talks, the two men said they were united in the fight against international terrorism.

Vladimir Putin
Putin won the contract to build a nuclear power station in India

"There cannot be good and bad terrorists, our terrorists and others," Mr Putin warned.

"All those who have resorted to arms in order to resolve political disputes, all those organisations, all those structures and individuals who carry out those policies should not be tolerated," the Russian leader said.

Mr Putin and Mr Vajpayee also expressed support for the US-led military operation in Afghanistan.

Both men agreed that the Taleban should not be involved in any post-war government in Kabul.

That is a position opposed by Pakistan which wants moderate elements of the Taleban included in any future Afghan administration.

Both India and Russia are also backing the opposition Northern Alliance in its bid to topple the Taleban.

Agreement was also reached on closer economic cooperation between Moscow and Delhi.

Russia has been awarded the contract to build a nuclear power station in southern India, a deal worth some three billion dollars to Moscow.

The BBC's Caroline Wyatt in Moscow
"Russia and India are firmly on the side of the Northern Alliance"
See also:

23 Oct 01 | Europe
Russia supplies Afghan opposition
02 Nov 01 | South Asia
India premier firm on Kashmir
24 Oct 01 | South Asia
Analysis: Kashmir threat to coalition
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