President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday that the killing of Osama bin Laden is beneficial to Russian security.
“The liquidation of terrorists, even on the level of … bin Laden, has a direct relationship to the level of security on the territory of our state,” Medvedev said in his first public comments on the al-Qaida leader’s killing in a U.S. operation in Pakistan, Itar-Tass reported.
“It is no secret that the well-known terrorist network al-Qaida has regularly sent and continues to send its emissaries to the territory of our state,” Medvedev told his Security Council in televised remarks, a day before talks with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari in Moscow.
In a statement issued hours after U.S. President Barack Obama announced bin Laden’s killing, the Kremlin called it a “serious success” and said “revenge is inescapable for all terrorists.” But neither Medvedev nor Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had spoken publicly about it until Wednesday.
Putin, president from 2000 to 2008, was the first foreign leader to call then-U.S. President George W. Bush after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.
Russia backed the U.S.-led campaign against the Afghan Taliban, who harbored bin Laden.
With Medvedev and Obama working to improve ties strained by Russia’s brief 2008 war in Georgia, Moscow has provided the United States and NATO with increased access to supply lines for the war against insurgents in Afghanistan.
The Kremlin said the agenda for Zardari’s talks with Medvedev on Thursday would involve coordinating efforts to support peace and stability in the region, including the fight against terrorism, the illegal drug trade and organized crime.