Putin: FSB able to confront security threats

Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the board meeting of the Federal Security Services (FSB), speaking about the situation in the world, aggravating threats posed by international terrorist groups and tasks of the FSB in the light of the current growth of the military-political rivalry.

"In the past year, the situation in the world did not become more stable or better. On the contrary, many of the existing challenges and threats only aggravated. Military political and economic rivalry between global and regional policy makers, individual states sharpened," he said.

Putin said that international terrorist groups which are "de facto terrorist armies" receive "covert and direct support from certain states."

"Bloodshed continues in a number of countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. International terrorist groups are actively participating in it [conflicts]. They are de facto terrorist armies which receive covert and even direct support from certain states," Putin stressed.

NATO has been trying to embroil Russia in confrontation by constant provocative actions, the Russian President said.

The Russian leader noted that at the NATO summit held in 2016 in Poland’s capital of Warsaw, "Russia was declared the main threat for the Alliance’s security for the first time since 1989."

Putin pointed out that "NATO has declared restraining Russia its new official mission." "For this purpose, the bloc has been expanding as it did before but now they seem to have found new serious reason to justify the bloc’s expansion and have sped up the process of deploying conventional and strategic weapons beyond the member states’ borders," TASS cited the Russian president as saying.

He went on to say that "they have been constantly provoking us in order to embroil us in confrontation." The Russian President also pointed to "the ongoing attempts to interfere in our internal affairs and destabilize the social and political situation in Russia."

Putin also asked the Federal Security Service (FSB) to take additional measures to protect Russian diplomats working abroad.

"The horrible crime, the murder of our ambassador in Turkey, has raised the pressing issue of the protection of Russian citizens working at our foreign diplomat missions," Putin said at a meeting of the FSB board.

He said FSB should "take additional measures to ensure security" together with the Foreign Ministry and the Foreign Intelligence Service.

Russian President noted that the Ukrainian government relies on a military resolution of its conflict in the southeast because it is not ready for steps toward peace.

"We also see a serious deterioration in southeastern Ukraine in recent years. The goal of these efforts, this escalation, is obvious: it is to disrupt the Minsk agreements. The current authorities in Ukraine are not ready for a peaceful solution to this complex problem and are betting on a military solution," Sputnik cited Putin as saying.

"Moreover, [Kiev authorities] speak openly about organizing sabotage, terrorist and subversive activities, including in Russia. We cannot but be concerned about this," Putin said.

Vladimir Putin also noted that the activity of almost 440 foreign special services’ agents and staff was thwarted in Russia last year.

"The Federal Security Service along with other law enforcement agencies under coordination of the National Anti-terrorist Committee prevented 45 terrorism-related crimes, including 16 terrorist attacks," Putin noted.

"A special thanks to you for that," the President said to the country’s security services.

"Last year, the activity of 53 staff and 386 agents of foreign special services was foiled," Putin said, stressing importance to "neutralize attempts of foreign special services of getting access to classified data, primarily in military and technical potential of the country."

Putin has ordered to improve border facilities in the Far Eastern region and the Arctic. "We need to continue improving border facilities in areas where border infrastructure is not developed enough, particularly in the Far East and the Arctic region," Putin said.

The president pointed out that "the guarding of state borders" was extremely important for ensuring the country’s security. "First and foremost, we need to foil any attempts by international terrorist and extremist groups to enter Russia as well as curtail any kind of smuggling - from weapons and drug trafficking to the smuggling of various bio-resources," the Russian leader noted.

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