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NEW YORK, June 13. /TASS/. The US was ready to use terrorists to undermine the political situation in Russia, President Vladimir Putin said an interview with Oliver Stone in his film The Putin Interviews.
Putin pointed out how US intelligence agencies supported militants during the war in Chechnya. "Back then, We clearly understood that our US counterparts, when speaking about their support for Russia, claimed they were ready for cooperation in fighting terrorism, but in reality they were using those terrorists to destabilize Russia’s domestic situation," he noted.
"Those ideas are still alive," Putin said in response to Stone’s comment about attempts by US intelligence agencies to whip up new hotbeds of tension in Central Asia or in the North Caucasus.
"Unfortunately, the US supported those developments," Putin resumed. "The Cold War faded into history a long time ago, we have good transparent relations with the world, with Europe, with the United States."
"Surely, we did hope for support, but instead of it we saw how US intelligence services supported terrorists," the president added.
Putin added that US intelligence services backed militants in the Russia’s North Caucasus region of Chechnya, ignoring Moscow’s protests.
"If we’re talking about informational and political support, there is no need in proving evidence, this was obvious for everyone. This has been done publicly, openly," Putin noted. "As for urgent financial support, we have such evidence. Furthermore, we have already provided it to our US colleagues," he said.
Putin also said he had informed then-US President George Bush about this evidence, providing several names of US intelligence officials who had worked in the Caucasus region and furnishing "technical support," and "deploying militants from one place to another."
"The response of the US president was very appropriate. He said that he looked at it negatively and said he would deal with it," the Russian leader said.
Moscow later received a letter from the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) saying that "our colleagues have the right to maintain relations with all representatives of the opposition and will continue doing so."
"It was clear that this did not only refer to opposition forces but to terrorist structures and organizations. Yet, nevertheless they had been trotted out as the opposition," Putin said. "I think George (Bush) remembers our conversation," the president noted.
Putin said he finds it difficult to name the most difficult moments of conflicts in the North Caucasus.
"The so-called Second Chechen War started when people, civilians in Dagestan - and this is also a Muslim republic - took up arms and put up resistance against the terrorists. I remember when Dagestan did not only insist, but just clamored that if Russia did not want to protect us then give us arms and we will do this ourselves," the president emphasized.
The four-part documentary, The Putin Interviews, will be aired in the United States on four consecutive nights between June 12 and 15. In Russia, it will be aired by Channel One, which has already purchased the broadcasting rights.
In the interviews conducted between July 2015 and February 2017, Putin outlined his stance on current Russian-US relations, NATO’s policy in Europe and the deployment of the US missile defense system, and touched upon the allegations that Moscow meddled in the US election campaign.
Putin also spoke about the Syrian and Ukrainian crises and about his relations with George Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and his stance on Edward Snowden, a former employee of the US National Security Agency (NSA), who leaked details of extensive Internet and phone surveillance by US intelligence to the media and subsequently requested asylum in Russia. Putin also answered questions about domestic policy, his path to the presidency and presidential terms, without sidestepping thorny issues.