President Vladimir Putin has accused foreign intelligence agencies of intensifying their efforts against Russia, including through supporting terrorist groups and trying to interfere with internal politics.
“In general, it’s obvious that there’s growing activity by foreign intelligence agencies against Russia and our allies,” Putin said, speaking at a meeting at the headquarters of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, where he had come to congratulate officers on the 95th anniversary of the founding of the service.
“This includes new ways of collecting and stove-piping information, cyberattacks and attempts to recruit new agents in order to get access to data on Russia’s economic, defense and resource capabilities,” the Russian leader explained.
The president added that some of these intelligence agencies were supporting terrorist groups and extremist elements on Russia’s frontiers in a bid to destabilize the country.
“You know perfectly the kind of challenges Russia has to grapple with,” Putin said.
“Those are attempts to contain our development, to impose dividing lines, destabilize regions close to Russia’s frontiers. One of the tools used for that purpose are terrorist and extremist groups. It’s no secret that some of them are carefully patronized or even directly supported by intelligences agencies of a number of countries.”
Putin also said that foreign agents were attempting to manipulate domestic politics in Russia.
“Operations are being carried out with the aim of influencing the internal political and social processes in our country,” he said.
However, having praised the “effective” work of all Russian intelligence services, including the Foreign Intelligence Service, Putin expressed certainty that the work of Russian professionals will ensure the country’s “sovereign development, security and stability.”