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Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned NATO’s attempt to “constantly provoke” Russia, through expansion and the placing of weapons “across national borders,” during an address to the Federal Security Service, in Moscow on Thursday.

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia (Russian): “Good afternoon, dear comrades. Our meetings in the framework of the annual board of the Federal Security Service allow us to analyse deeply and summarise the work of the department over the last year, it is also a good opportunity to comprehensively discuss the most important questions of national security generally.”

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia (Russian): “Over the past year the situation in the world has not become more stable, has not improved. It is the opposite, many of the existing challenges and threats only worsened. There has been intensified military-political and economic competition between global and regional centres of influence and individual countries. If you look bloody conflicts are continuing in several are continuing bloody conflicts Middle Eastern, Asian and African countries. International terrorist groups are actively involved in them and in fact a terrorist army is receiving hidden and even explicit support from some states. At the NATO summit last July in Warsaw for the first time since 1989, Russia was named the main security threat to the Alliance, and dealing with it [Russia] was officially proclaimed as the new NATO mission, and the further expansion of the block is being undertaken with this particular aim. In fact, it was carried out before, but now they have found another argument, that seems more serious to them. The have sped up the process of the placement of strategic and conventional weapons across national borders. We are being provoked all the time. In plain words, they constantly provoke and tend to try to draw us into a confrontation. And attempts to interfere in our internal affairs, aimed to destabilise the social and political situation in Russia, do not stop. We also saw a serious escalation of the situation in the south-east of Ukraine recently. The aim of this escalation is clear: to abort the Minsk agreements. The current government in Ukraine is definitely not ready for a peaceful solution to this complex problem and rely on a military solution. Moreover, they are speaking in public about terrorist organisations, subversive activities, including in Russia. It could not, not disturb us. The events and circumstances mentioned, require particular attention and concentration of force from special and targeted structures in Russia, above all the Federal Security Service, primarily in the fight against terrorism.”

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia (Russian): “The activity of terrorist groups should be identified and blocked, their financial base should be liquidated, as well as the activities of emissaries from abroad, their subversive activities on the internet should be suppressed, at the same time consider, of course, the Russian and international experience in this field.”

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia (Russian): “We should take our anti-terror cooperation with foreign partners to the next level, in spite of all the difficulties, which are being formed in various areas of international life. First and foremost, of course, we have to strengthen our work with our partners in such organisations as the UN, the CSTO [Collective Security Treaty Organisation] and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Our common interest is the restoration of a dialogue with the intelligence services in the United States, of other countries and members of NATO. It is not our fault that it was broken and does not develop. It is obvious that in the counterterrorism area all the responsible states and international associations should cooperate, because even a simple information exchange on the sources and channels of terrorists funding, on the people involved or suspected of involvement in terrorism, seriously increases the effectiveness of our joint efforts.”

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