Vladimir Putin: I would like to express my condolences to all those who were injured, and the families of those killed. It is a serious crime and a serious ordeal for the people who have suffered, and for our entire country.
Why did I draw attention to the Azerbaijani President's words about consolidating the efforts of the entire international community? Once more, we hear calls from abroad to hold talks with Maskhadov. This is not the first time we have encountered crimes committed on Russian territory coinciding with calls to hold talks with terrorists. The fact that we are called upon to hold talks with Maskhadov after crimes of this kind are committed shows that those who call on us to hold these talks indirectly confirm Maskhadov's link with terrorists.
As a matter of fact, we do not need any indirect or additional confirmation – we know for certain that Maskhadov and his militants are linked with this terror. There are examples of such crimes coinciding with certain elements in the Russian Federation itself. I do not exclude the possibility that this will be used in the course of internal political debates in the Russian presidential elections, and will be used as a means to put pressure on the current head of state. But the commonly accepted international principle of fighting terror is an unconditional refusal to hold any dialogue with terrorists, as any contacts with terrorists encourage them to commit new, even bloodier crimes. Russia has not done this, and will not do this in future.
Russia does not hold talks with terrorists. It destroys them.