Chechnya also remains a sore point in U.S.-Russian relations. President Bush, in meetings with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, is wont to raise the issue of human rights in Chechnya. Meanwhile, Putin refers to the conflict there as a “counterterrorism operation” and an internal matter. This March 2006 CFR Task Force report says “a problem that ought to encourage U.S.-Russian cooperation is made divisive by Moscow’s preference for blaming outsiders.” The report adds that “nothing threatens the future of Russia more than a strategy that spreads the military disaster that has engulfed Chechnya to the entire North Caucasus.”
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