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Meeting with heads of CIS member states’ security and intelligence agencies

December 19, 2017, The Kremlin, Moscow

Vladimir Putin met in the Kremlin with heads of security and intelligence agencies of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) members states.

Earlier today the President sent his greeting to the participants of the 43rd meeting of the Council of Heads of Security and Intelligence Agencies of the CIS countries.

* * *

Opening remarks at meeting with heads of CIS security and intelligence agencies

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon,

I am very glad to welcome all of you – participants in the 43rd meeting of the Council of Heads of Security and Intelligence Agencies of the CIS countries.

Our meeting is taking part on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the All-Russian Emergency Commission for Combatting Counter-Revolution and Sabotage (VChK).

I understand that it does not sound like it did say 15 or 20 years ago, and that this date is very charged politically. However, despite all the politicisation and all the things linked with certain tragic events in our common history, repression and so on…

This is not what I want to speak about. I want to speak about how our security bodies have always carried out – in those difficult times as well – a very important government function. They have been protecting the interests of the country and its citizens against external encroachment, all kinds of abuses, terrorism and organised crime, while sustaining heavy losses.

Naturally, I would like to make special mention of the veterans that defended the state’s interests during the Great Patriotic War. They deserve to be spoken about and remembered by us.

Today’s world is complex, your staff face difficult challenges, and you face difficult challenges as well, such as fighting terrorism and the forces that are trying to thwart the development of our nations.

With regard to terrorism, I do not need to say anything to you on this account, since you know everything yourself, and you are the ones who give us the necessary information on these matters. It is extremely important for us to closely follow events in this sphere.

The international situation has become very tense, and we care about where the terrorists will return to as they flee their current whereabouts following the fairly effective actions, as you are aware, of the Russian Armed Forces, say, in Syria. We know which way this scum is flowing, and we are fully aware of the threats posed by these ”flows“ to our states and our peoples. That is why cooperation between us is so important.

I want to thank you all for cooperation and the information that you provide to our special services, in particular the Federal Security Service. For our part, we will do our best to provide information to you in a timely manner, and to conduct, as it was until now, the necessary measures to ensure the security of our countries and our people.

In addition to this major and most dangerous threat, international terrorism, there are other challenges, and we are well aware of them. However, in order to be effective in our efforts against terrorists, we need the international community to act jointly.

We have repeatedly suggested creating a registry of the most dangerous criminals. Unfortunately, we have not received a final definitive answer yet, but this is okay given all we are doing together. I hope this work will continue.

As for organised crime, illegal migration and other issues that we constantly deal with, this is also part of your responsibility. This is hard and complex work, which, unfortunately, involves loss of life for some of our comrades. But all of that is not in vain, as it strengthens our state from within, and improves our unity in general.

I want to thank you for this and express hope that we will continue to work as effectively in the future, as we have so far.

Thank you very much.

December 19, 2017, The Kremlin, Moscow