17th Meeting of Heads of Security Agencies and Intelligence Services from Member-countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)

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During a meeting with heads of security agencies of CIS countries (via videoconference).
During a meeting with heads of security agencies of CIS countries (via videoconference).
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Vladimir Putin met, via videoconference, with delegation leaders at the 17th Meeting of Heads of Security Agencies and Intelligence Services from Member-countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)

The Kremlin, Moscow.October 13, 2021

The meeting was attended by Chief of the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan Orkhan Sultanov, Chief of the State Security Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ali Nagiyev, Director of the National Security Service of the Republic of Armenia Armen Abyazyan, Chairman of the State Security Committee of the Republic of Belarus Ivan Tertel, Chairman of the National Security Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan Karim Masimov, First Deputy Chairman of the State Committee for National Security of the Kyrgyz Republic Rustam Mamasadykov, Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation Sergei Naryshkin, Chairman of the State Committee for National Security of the Republic of Tajikistan Saimumin Yatimov and Deputy Minister of National Security of the Republic of Turkmenistan Guvanch Ovezov.

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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues, meeting participants.

I welcome all of you, heads of security and intelligence services of CIS countries, to the capital of Russia.

The practice of regular meetings in this format has proved its relevance. This time, during the meeting you will discuss in detail the situation in the region and the world, identify the range of internal and external challenges for our countries and the entire Commonwealth, and determine ways of neutralising potential threats.

This year, the CIS turns 30. Throughout this period, our organisation inevitably faced difficult trials in a rapidly changing world. Against the background of many factors that have contributed to uncertainty, it sought to operate according to the principles of equality and mutual consideration of interests. In the number of members, it remains the largest regional association in the post-Soviet space. I would like to emphasise that it serves as an authoritative and at times irreplaceable venue for our countries to engage in constructive dialogue and cooperation on many fronts.

The nations of the Commonwealth are linked by a common past, centuries-long experience of friendship and productive cooperation, and millions of intertwined human destinies. We in Russia cherish and take pride in this heritage. We understand that by joining efforts and capacities today, in the 21st century the CIS countries are better positioned to achieve its most ambitious goals, acting as partners and allies and working together towards a successful and prosperous future for all of us.

Notably, over the past decades, the CIS security and intelligence services have invariably strived to closely coordinate their activities to ensure the security of the state and society and to protect citizens’ rights and freedoms, and have achieved significant progress on this path.

Today, your main shared goal continues to be safeguarding the stability, sovereignty and peaceful development of our countries and facilitating the multidimensional integration processes within the CIS.

As before, it is important for your agencies to closely monitor the situation and any challenges or risks, to comprehensively analyse and forecast their impact on security in our common region, to understand the implications they may have for the international, political, economic and cultural spheres, and to respond accordingly.

Over the past years, we have seen that the close partnership of your agencies has noticeably strengthened security in the Commonwealth and helped to more effectively combat common threats, which include international terrorism, extremism, arms and drug trafficking, transnational crime and illegal migration.

However, we must move forward and promote interaction across all key areas.

Neutralising potential threats emanating from Afghanistan is of particular importance for CIS security. We are well aware of the fact that developments in that country may have a strong impact on the state of affairs in Central Asia, the South Caucasus and other regions.

These issues were discussed in detail at the CSTO and the SCO summits in September. We will, of course, review these issues during the upcoming CIS summit as well.

The situation in Afghanistan is quite challenging, as you know. After the withdrawal of US troops, power passed into the hands of the Taliban, who are setting their own rules and regulations. However, a number of ISIS-associated international terrorist groups continue to operate in that country. Militants with experience in waging war in Syria and Iraq are being drawn there. So, it is possible that terrorists might try to destabilise the situation in neighbouring countries, including the CIS countries, and go as far as starting to expand outrightly.

In this regard, it is important to constantly monitor the situation on the Afghan border and to be ready to counteract the militants. To do so, it is important to coordinate the work of security agencies and, if necessary, conduct joint special operations, all the more so as you have a successful track record of working in this area, including as part of the CIS Anti-Terrorism Centre.

One of your priorities is to ensure the information security of the Commonwealth countries. The information space and the global web have been rapidly developing in recent years, creating new opportunities for business, education and communication. However, at the same time information technology is increasingly often used for crime – from economic scheming and drug trafficking, to extremist propaganda and terrorist recruiting. All these illegal criminal activities certainly require the special attention of your services.

I would like to note that integration processes are moving forward in the Commonwealth space. Trade, investment, financial and transportation flows are growing in scale and intensity. We have to understand that this productive work – using our competitive advantages and combining our capacities to meet common challenges – is meeting with a mixed response, sometimes a desire to interfere and trip us up.

This is why your services must continue to help protect the economic interests of the CIS states, working together to make the CIS more competitive, to promote dynamic development and uphold the lawful interests of our entrepreneurs and companies.

It is also important to further develop information exchange, including analysis and forecasting, upgrade the methods and forms of cooperation and make them more up-to-date and efficient.

Of course, the CIS states should continue to jointly train personnel and to regularly upgrade the qualifications of security and intelligence professionals. You have quite a bit of experience with this work and you should make better use of it. It is important not to forget that the future of your services depends on having promising, talented specialists.

Colleagues, meeting participants,

I am confident that this meeting and, most importantly, the continuous joint efforts of our services will help us address the key tasks of CIS security and stability and promote the peaceful development and prosperity of our countries and peoples.

I wish you success in your service and all the best.

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