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Official website of the President of Russia

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Speech at a Meeting of the Council of Heads of CIS Security and Law Enforcement Agencies

April 19, 2000, Moscow

Vladimir Putin:

“Dear colleagues:

“It is with a special feeling that I want to welcome you to Moscow. I hope that your work will, as always, prove fruitful and successful. I am very happy to see many familiar faces in this hall. As I see it, long-term cooperation with all of you has made it possible to effectively deal with different security-related tasks and issues facing our countries and law enforcement agencies.

“The subject of our discussion has great significance for every CIS state. The fight against terrorism has transcended national borders on former-Soviet territory and elsewhere in the world. Unfortunately, it has now become obvious that international terrorism has a wide-ranging system of information, financial and ideological support in many countries. Cooperation between governments is the only way to fight this international evil.

“It is clear that the more our inaction encourages bandits in some regions, the more actively they operate in others. Last January, a CIS leader proposed the creation of a counter-terrorism centre and said a joint programme for combating terrorism must be drafted. All CIS leaders supported this excellent idea. Subsequent energetic and extremely professional work involving National Security Councils, Defence and Interior Ministries and secret services has produced certain results. In my opinion, this circumstance alone has enabled us to gather here for an extraordinary conference and to adopt final decisions that can and must be made in accordance with CIS legal documents at the level of heads of state. These documents can also be adopted in line with other procedures at the level of heads of government or heads of state, although not during face-to-face talks. However, it may be possible to prepare documents for signature at a conference due to be held in Moscow soon.

“Some time ago, we discussed these problems with foreign ministers in the Russian capital. I am convinced that the work of your colleagues was taken into account during preparations for the current conference and will be reflected in draft working documents, due to be submitted to the heads of state for signature.

“I want to wish you every success. The stability of our countries and even our international relations, to some extent, will depend on the effectiveness of your efforts to accomplish your current objectives and those on the agenda. This is because all of us know about the attempts by some countries to establish a system of international relations under which international organisations would serve the interests of certain groups of states or those of just one state. However, we should aspire to a formula known as the multi-polar world. This completely correct and universal formula meets the interests of an overwhelming majority of countries, not just those of the former Soviet Union.

“I would like to end my speech on the optimistic note, and I want to link the problem being tackled by us today with the entire range of domestic and foreign-policy issues. I want to wish you success and to express hope that the heads of CIS security and law enforcement agencies will, as in previous years, display maximum professionalism, coordinate their actions at this stage, and start implementing the accords reached today in the near future.

“Thank you very much for your attention. I wish you every success in your work.”

April 19, 2000, Moscow