The terrorist attacks in Moscow and Kizlyar (Daghestan) are links in the same chain, instances of the same terrorist activity that has recently reared its head once more in the Caucasus, the President said, stressing that Russia will continue to fight this scourge.
Mr Medvedev gave the instruction to pay more attention to transport safety (signing an executive order to this effect) and to overall counterterrorism protection of transport infrastructure and public places.
Judicial practice with regard to terrorism charges was also discussed at the meeting.
Examined separately on the agenda were measures to improve the situation in the North Caucasus republics in general.
Taking part in the meeting were Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov, Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Sergei Naryshkin, Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev, Deputy Prime Minister and Government Chief of Staff Sergei Sobyanin, Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the North Caucasus Federal District Alexander Khloponin, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev, Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, Transport Minister Igor Levitin, Civil Defence, Emergencies and Disaster Relief Minister Sergei Shoigu, Director of the Federal Security Service Alexander Bortnikov, Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service Mikhail Fradkov, and Chairman of the Prosecutor General’s Office Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Colleagues, we are meeting out of schedule today. This is for obvious reasons, namely, the tragic events in Moscow – the bombings in the metro. Today, blasts also took place in Kizlyar [in Daghestan], killing colleagues from Daghestan’s police force. These acts are links in the same chain, instances of the same terrorist activity that has recently reared its head once more in the Caucasus, and which we have been fighting and will continue to fight.
The state authorities will provide assistance to the families of those killed and to the injured in both the Moscow and Dagestan bombings, of course.
But we are here today to discuss ways to fight terrorism more effectively, including by addressing the weak spots that the whole country is talking about now. This is a very difficult task, and everyone needs to be aware of this: those present here today, and all of our citizens. But this is something we must address, all the more so as the terrorists’ goal is to destabilise our country, undermine civil society and sow fear and panic among the public. We will not allow this to happen. We will direct everything we do, all of our efforts on consolidating our country and people.
As I already said, all of the terrorists will be found and eliminated. I therefore propose that the FSB and the [Prosecutor General’s Office] Investigative Committee update us on how the investigation is progressing.
I met yesterday with members of the judiciary. It would make sense to analyse judicial practice regarding particular charges, including terrorism charges, reflect on the way terrorism is prosecuted under criminal law, and pay more attention to preventing this kind of crime, including through judicial means.
There is another issue that also calls for our attention, namely, the need to protect sites, above all transport infrastructure and public places from terrorist attacks. I have already given the Government instructions to work on this matter and the Government has discussed the issue.
I signed an executive order today on establishing a comprehensive transport safety system. This order sets out the steps we need to take: draft the programme, equip the most vulnerable parts of the transport system as soon as we can (we should try to do this even faster than the deadline set by the order), implement technical solutions, organise the information systems’ functioning. We need to get all of this under control and we also need to set the proportionate and in such cases necessary responsibility of the transporters, local authorities and everyone involved in transport. All of these different aspects will be reflected in the action plan the Government draws up.
The last thing I wanted to say at the start of this meeting is that we need to improve the situation in the North Caucasus republics in general with terrorism prevention work, educational campaigns and economic programmes. Right from the outset this has been the objective of our new Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy [to the North Caucasus Federal District Alexander Khloponin]. These programmes must all go ahead no matter what the circumstances. Resolving social and economic problems is in many respects the key to bringing about change in the situation. Apart from the security side of things, we also need to work on this, work with the people, work with communities and offer them better conditions for life.