President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Colleagues,
First of all, I want to welcome you to Moscow, to this, the tenth meeting of the directors of the CIS member states’ security and intelligence services.
I do not want to speak banalities. I just want to say that over these last years, working in your different areas, together, and in coordination with each other, you have made a significant contribution to ensuring our countries’ security and guaranteeing regional security throughout the CIS. I am sure that your contacts with each other and the agreements you carry out are in the national interests of your countries, in the interests of all the CIS countries, including the Russian Federation too, of course.
I know that today’s meeting has been very productive. I hope that its results will contribute to the effectiveness of your services’ work and help you in combating the main threats we face today. These threats are clear. Unfortunately, they remain unchanged and are likely to remain a challenge for rather a long time yet to come. I am referring, of course, to international terrorism and all types of extremism, including political and religious extremism, trans-border crime, drug trafficking, and all of the serious challenges that practically every country in the world faces today.
The economic crisis has created difficulties for us all. The crisis is affecting the economic situation in almost every country represented here today. I think that it is important for us to find joint responses to the various problems the crisis raises. I say this because, first, domestic problems inevitably end up exacerbated by a crisis situation, and second, there are always enough people eager to use the crisis for their own political or quasi-political ends, or simply for filling their pockets by sucking what they can from the various kinds of assistance being offered (and you know that such measures are being undertaken), and also making use of the various channels for sending out information of all kinds. I therefore think it particularly important to have a high level of cooperation and coordination between the special services in order to resolve all sorts of different tasks.
There is a whole range of other risks that I think you have also examined today. They include the risks related to migration issues. This is a separate matter. We all live in the former Soviet area and our countries have very close relations. Of course, effective control of migration, including through the special services, is an extremely important mission.
The world is developing, and we are now in the middle of a technology boom. Today, we can use electronic information systems to do things that no one could even dream of just ten years ago. Billions of dollars are transferred between various accounts every single day. Of course, most of these transfers are legal, but this flow also includes illegal transfers, criminal money.
There are also various ways to get control over completely legal operations, using various technology and software, unlicensed software, of which there is a great amount on the market today, and using the skills that cyber-criminals have developed. I think this too is a very important and also completely new area in which we need to develop our cooperation. This was something I discussed in general terms during my latest contacts with the leaders of a number of countries represented here today. That was during the recent informal CSTO summit in Kyrgyzstan. We said then that responding to this kind of crime is our common goal, our common task and our common concern.
I want to wish you all welcome once more and thank you for coming to Russia, to Moscow, to discuss these important issues together. Of course, I would like to hear what conclusions you have reached. This is all the more important as in a few weeks time the G20 summit will take place in Pittsburgh, in the United States, which will examine various means of addressing the crisis, including in the areas that I have just mentioned, the areas that I think come under the responsibility of the special services and you, the directors of the CIS member states’ security and intelligence services.
Once again, welcome, and I wish you successful work.
Director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Mikhail Fradkov: Thank you, Mr President.
The heads of the CIS countries’ security and intelligence services thank you for this chance to meet with the President of Russia. This is further evidence of the importance our countries’ leaders place on making our cooperation more effective, including the cooperation between our security and intelligence agencies.
We have had an intensive exchange of views over these two days. This is our tenth meeting and it has given the security and intelligence agency heads the chance to look back over our relations over this last decade and also examine our future prospects. We did indeed discuss the issues you mentioned just now as priority items on the agenda, from working together on counter-terrorism activities to identifying the possibilities that will help us to overcome the economic crisis together. There is a place in this work for our countries’ security and intelligence agencies. Of course, our agencies work in our countries’ national interests, but we have all noted the potential opportunities we gain from coordinating our efforts – from exchanging information to carrying out joint operations. Of course, each country has given its own shape to the experience built up during the Soviet period, but opportunities exist for joint efforts with regard to hot spots, regional problems, identifying third countries’ interests, ensuring fair competition on our markets and so on.
We have outlined a programme for work and joint action. Our personnel are focused on close cooperation. We plan to hold our next meeting in Baku. We will mobilise all available resources in the interests of developing each of our countries and the Commonwealth of Independent States in general. We see the opportunities that the resources and instruments used by the intelligence services offer us.
Dmitry Medvedev: What you just said is absolutely right. Of course, all security and intelligence services act in the national interest, and that is the way things should be. But at the same time, taking into account the historical experience we share, the integration now underway in the CIS, and the fact that we are living in a global world, there is practically no task that can be resolved using one country’s resources alone, no task related to guaranteeing security. No matter what issue we take – terrorism, organised crime, extremism – these are all things that go beyond national borders. Fifty years ago, it was possible for countries to combat these problems successfully on their own, and even then contacts between the different services existed. Now the world is a truly global place, and this just further highlights the usefulness of these kinds of contacts. I am therefore very pleased to see this conference taking place in Moscow.