On October 15 the Russian newspaper Izvestia published the text of an interview conducted with President Bush’s national security advisor, Condoleezza Rice. Asked whether “official Washington understands somewhat better what it is that the Kremlin encountered in Chechnya,” Rice replied: “We have always said that a political solution is needed in Chechnya. We like President Putin’s statements now. It seems he really wants to initiate negotiations with the Chechen leaders. We also maintain–the way we maintained it [previously]–that human rights are an important issue in Chechnya. We know that there are terrorists in and around Chechnya and we urge Chechen leaders to disassociate themselves from the criminals who might be found in their ranks. We cannot fight international terrorism in Afghanistan and welcome it in Chechnya” (translated back from the Russian by WPS Monitoring Agency).