Russian leaders offer condolences to terror-stricken Norway

(RIA Novosti / STF)
Russia’s president and prime minister offered their condolences and assistance to the leaders and people of Norway, where two terrorist attacks killed at least 93 people on Friday.

­President Dmitry Medvedev has offered to assist the Norwegian people in dealing with the aftermath of the dual terrorist attacks by right wing radical Anders Behring Breivik, presidential press-secretary Natalia Timakova has told the press. Timakova also said that the Russian President spoke with Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg by phone in order to once again express his condolences to the head of the government and the king of Norway, as well as show solidarity with the Norwegian people.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin also telephoned his Norwegian counterpart, Jens Stoltenberg, and offered his condolences in connection with the tragedy. On behalf of the Russian government, Putin expressed solidarity with the people of Norway in what have been “trying days for them," Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters. Putin also offered his condolences to the families of those killed, Peskov said.

Additionally, Vladimir Putin’s press-secretary said that the Norwegian terrorist was a madman, and therefore it is not appropriate to discuss the praise Breivik purportedly lavished on Russia and Vladimir Putin in his diaries. Furthermore, no conclusions should be prematurely drawn as investigators are yet to find proof that Breivik is the actual author of the notes. “This man is a spawn of hell. A complete madman. Whatever he has written or said cannot be considered as anything other than the ravings of a madman,” the Kommersant daily quoted Peskov as saying.

Curiously, forensic psychiatrist Dr Ian Stephen told the British media that Breivik’s Manifesto was the most terrible document he had ever read. The expert added that he had gotten the impression that Breivik had studied the Internet for a very long time in attempt to create his own philosophy and justify the necessity of his actions.

Russian youth movement Nashi, that was also reportedly mentioned in Breivik’s manifesto, said they would not comment on the document and appraise the actions of its author.”We hear for the first time that our organization was mentioned in this context and there is nothing we can say,” Russian news agency Interfax quoted Nashi spokesperson Mariya Kislitsina as saying.

Chairman for the committee of international relations in the upper house of the Russian Parliament, Mikhail Margelov, said that Russian special services were ready to help in the investigation of the Norwegian attacks. “I am sure that the corresponding services in Russia are ready to help Norway in investigating the terrorist attack if such need arises, unfortunately, we have dealt with sad experiences of this nature,” Margelov said. He added that it was hard to find a place in Europe that would pose a greater contrast to the terrible events that transpired on Norway’s “black Friday”.

93 people were killed and over 100 were wounded in the dual terrorist attacks in Norway on Friday. Police have detained the prime suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, who has already pled guilty to preparing and executing the attacks. The first court hearing of Breivik’s case will start on Monday.