MOSCOW, 24 February (BelTA) – Attempts are underway to put Russia under external control and provocations are being prepared against the country, Russian President Vladimir Putin said as he addressed a meeting of top officials of the Federal Security Service (FSB) on 24 February.
“We are facing the so-called containment policy. This is already a well-established fact. This is not about competition, which is a natural thing for international relations. This is about a consistent and quite aggressive policy to derail our development, slow it down, create problems alongside our borders, provoke internal instability and undermine the values that unite Russian society and eventually to weaken Russia and put it under outside control, the way it has happened in certain countries in the post-Soviet space,” the president stressed.
The Russian president emphasized that these threats are not exaggerated. “It is enough to get familiar with the publicly available strategic documents and revealing statements by politicians in a number of countries,” Vladimir Putin said.
“They resort to any means, including terrorism”
Vladimir Putin said that 72 acts of terrorism were prevented in Russia in 2020. It was 25% more than a year earlier. In his words, these figures show that Russia is capable of detecting most of criminal designs at the stage of their preparation. “The figures show, however, that the terrorist network is trying to restore its activity by any means, so it is important not only to identify and eliminate terrorist cells, including the so-called ‘dormant', deeply hidden cells, but also to analyze and predict the situation in general, taking into account that the terrorist leaders and ideologists are constantly changing their tactics, looking for funding and financial backing and new techniques for propaganda to recruit young people into their ranks,” the Russian president stressed.
“I am asking you to pay special attention to uncovering contacts between terrorist groups and foreign intelligence services. You are well aware of this. Unfortunately, they are prepared to resort to any means possible – including the use of terrorism,” he said. The Russian president urged to improve the level of antiterrorist protection of public places, critical facilities and social institutions.
On upcoming provocations and information campaign against Russia
A targeted information campaign against Russia's achievements, including in healthcare, has been unleashed abroad, Vladimir Putin said. “A targeted information campaign is being waged against us with unapologetic and unsubstantiated accusations across a number of issues. Even absurd, I would say, silly conspiracy theories are being used. Attempts, for example, have recently been made to question our achievements in healthcare, in the fight against the coronavirus,” he said.
“We understand that global problems can only be solved through joint efforts. Nevertheless, a lot of attempts have been made and are still being made here. I thank you for the information you pass on to the country's political leadership about provocations planned in this area,” Vladimir Putin added.
On the line separating political competition and servicing foreign interests
The Russian president also touched upon the upcoming State Duma elections in the autumn. He said that the elections should be shielded against any provocations and attempts from abroad to undermine stability in the country. “This year we are having the elections to the State Duma. The constitutional rights of citizens to elect their representatives freely, within the framework of democratic procedures, must be shielded against any provocations,” the head of state said.
He urged to continue to act strictly within the legal framework and to rely on the support of citizens, and to draw a clear line between natural political competition, different views on the development of the country and ‘actions which have nothing to do with democracy and which are aimed at undermining stability and security, at serving someone else's interests'. “The interests of those people who pay for these activities from abroad, but these activities are not meant to meet our interests, but theirs,” said Vladimir Putin.
Countering extremism is one of the most important areas of work, Vladimir Putin said. “Protection of the constitutional order, civil peace, interethnic accord in our society is an extremely important task. It is also your job to suppress any attempts from the outside to usurp the right of Russian people to determine their future,” Vladimir Putin said addressing the FSB officers.
The president is confident that attempts to use the instruments of foreign special services and sanctions against are is absolutely futile. “They are trying to hold us back with economic and other sanctions, to block major international projects, which are of interest not only to us but also to our partners, to directly interfere in the public and political life, in the democratic procedures of our country. Tools from the arsenal of the special services are being actively used. I would like to reiterate that such a position with respect to Russia is absolutely hopeless,” said Vladimir Putin.