Putin Accuses Foreign Security Services of Trying to Meddle in Russia's Affairs

© Sputnik / Ramil Sitdikov / Go to the photo bankVladimir Putin's annual news conference
Vladimir Putin's annual news conference - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - President Vladimir Putin has accused foreign intelligence services of attempts to interfere in Russia's internal affairs.

Speaking at a gala event dedicated to the Day of Russia's Security Services Personnel, Putin said that the Russian intelligence community should "curb the activity of foreign special services that attempt to enhance their activity in Russia, which is not a secret."

The president called on the special services to continue systematic and consistent work to combat terrorism and strengthen security at Russia's borders.

"It is necessary to strengthen both external and internal contours of Russia's anti-terrorism security, to work on the destruction of financial and recruitment networks of criminals, to counter attempts of extremists and radicals to influence young people, spread the ideology of hatred, religious intolerance and aggressive nationalism."

Putin stressed that Russia would continue to decisively eliminate hotbeds of international terrorism, and act together with other countries to fight this global threat.

The statement came in the wake of the pullout of Russian troops from Syria announced by the Russian president on December 11 after major terrorist strongholds in the country had been eliminated, paving the way for the political settlement of the crisis. According to Putin, two Russian bases in the Middle Eastern state — in Hmeymim and Tartus — would continue their operation alongside the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation of opposing sides.

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