Russian President Vladimir Putin has urged the country’s security services to “erect a safe barrier” against foreign interference in the country’s society and politics, ahead of the presidential election next year.
Moscow. “There is a great responsibility on the intelligence services to erect a safe barrier against external meddling in our social and political life, and to counteract the work of foreign security agencies, which are doing all they can to ramp up their level of activity in Russia,” the Russian president said during a speech to security and intelligence personnel, who mark their professional holiday on Wednesday.
Putin, who himself was in the security services before entering politics, also urged officials to “fortify the internal and external frontiers” in the fight against terrorism.
“Agents must work to destroy the financial and recruitment networks, and to prevent radicals from influencing youths, and spreading the ideology of hate, intolerance, and also aggressive nationalism,” he said.
Putin pointed out that Russia’s security services have prevented over 60 terror attacks in 2017. “This year, the security services have foiled the plans of preparing over 60 terror-related crimes,” he said
Earlier this year, the Russian president said that up to 7,000 citizens from the former Soviet Union, predominantly from the Muslim regions in the Caucuses and Central Asia, had flown to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS. Since the organization’s military collapse, some are thought to have traveled to Russia posing a major security threat.