Russian Security Council's Deputy Secretary warns of threats to Russia
There are risks that members of international terrorist and extremist organizations, as well as subversive activities and terror attacks tools may infiltrate into Russia, Deputy Secretary of the Russian Security Council Alexander Grebenkin said in an interview with the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily.
"It is necessary to say that the situation at several sections of the state border is still difficult. It develops amid the buildup of military political, economic and information pressure on Russia from the United States and its allies," he said. "In the recent time, we have been seeing a considerable invigoration of NATO’s military and other activities in the Black and Azov Seas region, in the Western direction and in the Arctic region."
"The level of threats at the border linked with possible armed conflicts and incidents at the state border is not declining," he noted.
"There are risks that members of international terrorist and extremist organizations, as well as subversive activities and terror attacks tools may infiltrate into Russia," Grebenkin said. "It stems from the fact that the number of hotbeds of military political instability near our border is increasing."
According to the Russian Security Council senior official, more than 16,000 people on the international and Russian wanted lists have been detained at international communications channels in the past three years. As many as 112 of them were detained for terrorist activities. "Apart from that, more than 28,000 foreign citizens suspected of the involvement in the activities of international terrorist organizations have been banned from entering Russia for a long period," he said, adding that more than 600 firearms, about 500 kilograms of explosive substances and more than 120,000 munitions were seized in border territories.
Among other threats, Grebenkin cited "attempts at poaching in the Far Eastern and Arctic region, in the Barents, Caspian, Black, and Azov Seas." "More than 800 tonnes of aquatic bioresources and products were seized this year alone. Twelve Russian and foreign shis and more than 390 boats were detained," he said.
The Deputy Secretary of the Russian Security Council said that the situation in Afghanistan continues to degrade and creates threats of drug trafficking and uncontrolled migration growth.
"We are closely following the situation in Afghanistan after the international terrorist organization Taliban, which is outlawed in Russia, came to power in that country. Regrettably, it gives no grounds for optimism," he said.
"The continuing degradation of the socio-political situation in that country amid the impoverishment of the population and extrajudicial execution of its own nationals creates a real threat of a considerable growth in trafficking of drugs and weapons, and uncontrolled migration," he stressed.
He warned that militants and terrorists may infiltrate from Afghanistan into Central Asian countries and further reach Russia via the Russian-Kazakh border section.
"By the way, this issue was among the key ones during the recently held meeting of Security Council secretaries of the CIS nations, who noted the necessity of measures toward the settlement of the Afghan crisis," Grebenkin added.
Russia’s Security Council also warns that flows of migrants using Russia for transit to the European Union are increasing.
"There is a tendency toward increasing flows of migrants from the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia, who use Russia as a transit country to reach European Union nations in search of a better life," Deputy Secretary of the Russian Security Council Alexander Grebenkin said in an interview with the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily.
He noted that "the problem of illegal migration is still pressing" amid the pandemic. "Most of them are citizens of Central Asian republics, Ukraine and Moldova who come to Russia to work," he said.
"More than 20,000 attempts at illegal entry to Russia are stopped at the state border every year. More than 6,000 migrants are detained while crossing the border off checkpoints," he said. "The activities of 182 organizers of illegal migration channels were stopped in 2020-2021. Some 22,400 foreign nationals, who have been banned from entering Russia, were stopped at the border this year alone."
"The number of attempts at trafficking drugs, commodity, strategic raw materials, sanctioned and counterfeit products is not decreasing," he noted.
According to Grebenkin, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), interior and defense ministries, the Federal Customs Service, the National Guard and other agencies are implementing plans of combating terrorism and trans-border crime. "More than 20 special border operations have been conducted at various border sections since 2018," he added.