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The Moscow Times, September 11, 2002

One Year After

By Grigory Yavlinsky

Rather than changing the world, Sept. 11 brought to light already existing problems. Mankind was given a clear signal that the key problem of the 21st century must be resolved.

I am referring to the widening gulf around the world between poverty, deteriorating living standards, falling life expectancy and the spread of disease on the one hand, and prosperity, technological progress, rising education levels and growth of intellectual potential on the other. In other words, we are witnessing the widening gulf between the citizens of developed countries and those in many other countries, whose lives have been deteriorating.

Of course there is no justification for terror. It is rooted in ignoble acts rather than in poverty. However, it is at the very least shortsighted to ignore the circumstances in which this baseness develops, as indeed it is not to understand what feeds this behavior.

After Sept. 11, the international authority of Russia has grown thanks to the correct and clear-cut foreign policy advocated by President Vladimir Putin.

Over the past year military efforts in combatting terrorism, primarily in Afghanistan, have failed to yield any significant results because this problem cannot be resolved by military force alone. Force is necessary, but it is clearly insufficient on its own. And too little has been done in other areas.

When confronted by their own inability to resolve the most acute problems, politicians have with increasing frequency descended into political farce, whether unintentionally or of their own volition.

Over the past year, we have all seen that NATO is an ineffective military and political organization, that relations between the United States and Europe are not as cloudless as they had seemed previously, and that the United States has on many issues been attempting to pursue its own course in isolation from the international community.

However, today there is a great need for close coordination and cooperation between the United States, Europe and Russia to reduce the threat posed by terrorism and increase global stability.

The results of the past year can be summed up as follows: We have a better understanding of the problems and also of their complexity -- we now need to hasten their resolution.

Grigory Yavlinsky is leader of the Yabloko party.

See also:
the article at

International Anti-Terror Coalition

The Moscow Times, September 11, 2002

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