April 1, 2010
What can be done to prevent terror attacks in Russia? Who is responsible? Can such attacks be averted in the future? Russian daily Kommersant spoke to the head of the country’s Security Council, Nikolay Patrushev.
He addressed a number of issues in the interview, stemming from an analysis of the special forces’ reaction to the terror acts to the possible origins of the attacks, emphasizing that Russia needs a system of terror alerts similar to the one existing in the United States.
Right now, Patrushev said, all available forces have been thrown into the investigation of the March 29 terrorist atrocities in Moscow’s metro. He promised that all those involved in the attacks will be found and punished accordingly.
The head of Russia’s Security Council also said that, after such attacks, people generally step up their vigilance and report anything that may seem suspicious to them. However, as time passes, the level of alertness decreases significantly. And one of the main concerns right now, said Patrushev, is to find a way to step up the level of security on public transportation.
He reminded that the terrorist threat was not absent over the past several years. Last year alone, the FSB prevented 86 attacks across the country – but no security forces in the world can offer foolproof prevention of terror attacks, noted Patrushev.
The Northern Caucasus is still a hotspot for terrorist activity, but claims that Russia’s secret services have a weak structure of agents in the region are far from true, said Patrushev.
He mentioned that some countries in the region, namely Georgia, are unreliable partners in terms of security. Patrushev also said that Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili had already unleashed one war, and can be expected to unleash another, since many other states continue to offer their military help to Georgia, notwithstanding Russia’s requests not to do so.
Georgia, however, was quick to respond.
Guram Chakhvadze, one of the leaders of the National Democratic Party – a Georgian opposition party – said on Wednesday that Patrushev’s statements about Georgia’s possible involvement in the blasts are “outrageous and provocative”.
The country’s minister for reintegration, Temur Yakobashvili, however, stated that Georgia is willing to cooperate with Russia in the investigation of the March 29 attacks. Yakobashvili also stated, the volatile situation in the Northern Caucasus is not just Russia’s problem. “Moreover,” he went on to add, “Georgia does not need an influx of refugees from the republics of the Northern Caucasus.”
Yakobashvili also said that Georgia never did, and never will condone terrorism in any form.
Irina Galushko, RT, Tbilisi, Georgia
This article was posted: Thursday, April 1, 2010 at 4:33 am