Russian President Vladimir Putin has urged the country’s security services to establish “a safe barrier”against foreign interference in the country’s internal affairs ahead of the 2018 presidential election.
“There is a great responsibility on the intelligence services to erect a safe barrier against external meddling in our social and political life, and to counteract the work of foreign security agencies, which are doing all they can to ramp up their level of activity in Russia,” Putin said during a speech to security and intelligence personnel on December 20. “Agents must work to destroy the financial and recruitment networks, and to prevent radicals from influencing youths, and spreading the ideology of hate, intolerance, and also aggressive nationalism.”
Putin revealed that security agencies have thwarted 60 terror attacks in Russia in 2017.
On December 17, the Russian leader called U.S. President Donald Trump to thank him for a CIA tip that the Kremlin said helped prevent a series of bombings in St. Petersburg last weekend.
Russia marked its Day of Employees of State Security Agencies on December 20.