Brussels – 11 Nov 2002
1. Wide shot of news conference
3. UPSOUND (English) Journalist:
“Don’t you think that by trying to eradicate terrorism in Chechnya you are going to eradicate the civilian population of Chechnya?”
4. SOUNDBITE (Russian) Vladimir Putin, Russian president
“By the way, I want to bring your attention to the fact that the creation of a Caliphate on Russian soil is just the first step of their plan. If you follow this, you should know that the radicals are aiming to create a Caliphate of the whole world. They speak about the necessity of killing the Americans and their allies. And it seems to me that you (the journalist) are from a country (France) which is an ally of the United States. So you are in danger. They speak about the necessity of killing all ‘Kafer’ or non-Muslims. All non-Muslims, all Christians. So if you are a Christian you are in danger. Even if you decide to abandon your faith and become an atheist, according to their ideas again, you will be liquidated. If you decide to become a Muslim, even that will not save you, because even traditional Islam is hostile to the goals they have set before them; even in this case you are in danger. If you are ready to become a radical Islamist and you are even ready to have yourself circumcised, then I invite you to come to Moscow. We are a multi-confessional country, we have specialists even in this. And I would recommend that they perform the operation in such a way that nothing grows back.”
5. Wide shot of news conference as journalists leave
Brussels – 13 Nov 2002
6. Exterior of European Commission building
7. Close shot of European Commission sign
8. Gunnar Wiegand, EU spokesman talking to journalists
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Gunnar Wiegand, EU spokesman:
“At the time, because of interpretation problems, our leaders did not hear what was said and today we can say that the European Commission considers this as highly regrettable that these words have been used.”
10. Mid shot of Wiegand talking to press
A day after Vladimir Putin’s outburst over Islam and human rights in Chechnya after an EU-Russia summit, the European Union distanced itself from the Russian president’s “robust” language, saying it cannot stop him from speaking his mind.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has created a scandal in Russia and in diplomatic circles with an outburst at a EU-Russia news conference, when he invited a French journalist to become a Muslim radical and have himself circumcised.
When the reporter questioned Putin about the the Kremlin’s crackdown in Chechnya, Putin became agitated and suggested the man become a Muslim and come to Moscow for circumcision, a tenet for Muslim males.
“If you are ready to become a radical Islamist and you are even ready to have yourself circumcised, then I invite you to come to Moscow. We are a multi-confessional country, we have specialists even in this. And I would recommend that they perform the operation in such a way that nothing grows back.” he said in response to a question from a reporter from the French daily newspaper Le Monde.
The Russian leader told the news conference that Chechen Muslims would not stop when they had established a Caliphate, or Muslim state, on Russian territory.
He said radical Muslims wanted to create a Caliphate of the whole world, and to kill Christians, atheists and even traditional Muslims.
An EU spokesman at a news conference in Brussels on Wednesday distanced themselves from the remarks, saying such language was “highly regrettable.”
As a result, there was a little coverage in European media on Tuesday of Putin’s outburst.
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