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MOSCOW, February 27 (Itar-Tass) —— The freedom of communication on the Internet must be supported, but the risk of global network's use by terrorists and criminals must be minimized, Russian Prime Minister and presidential candidate Vladimir Putin said in his article "Russia and the Changing World" published in the Moscow News on Monday.
The Internet, social networks, mobile telephones and so on, together with television, turned into an effective instrument of domestic and international policies. It is a new factor that must be considered, he noted.
Such a notion emerged as a "soft force" for a set of instruments and methods to achieve foreign policy aims without use of weapons, but with informational and other levers of influence. Regrettably, these methods are used to raise and provoke extremism, separatism and nationalism, to manipulate public views and directly interfere in internal policies of sovereign states, the premier warns.
It must be clearly distinguished where the freedom of speech, normal political activity and where unlawful "soft force" instruments are used, Putin said.
The premier welcomes the work of humanitarian and charity non-governmental organizations, including those actively criticizing the authorities, but he harshly condemns activities of pseudo-nongovernmental organizations that with support from the outside have the aims of destabilizing the situation in some or other countries.
There are a lot of "agents of influence" of major states, alliances and corporations in the world. When they come out openly, it is just a form of civilized lobbyism, Putin said, adding that Russia also has Rossotrudnichestvo (Russian cooperation) and the Russian World foundation, but Russia does not use national non-governmental organizations of other countries and does not finance these organizations and foreign political organizations with the aim of supporting its interests.
Influence on internal policies and public sentiments in other countries must be only open. In this case, players will be maximally responsible for their actions, the Russian prime minister noted.