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Russian lawmakers' reaction to Brussels attacks

March 22, 2016, 14:04 UTC+3 MOSCOW

According to Russia's senior lawmaker Frantz Klintsevich, the terrorist acts in Brussels can be qualified as a massive attack on Europe

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Passengers and airport staff evacuated from the terminal building after explosions at Brussels Airport in Zaventem, Belgium

Passengers and airport staff evacuated from the terminal building after explosions at Brussels Airport in Zaventem, Belgium


MOSCOW, March 22. /TASS/. The terrorist attacks in Brussels and Paris are interrelated and can be called ‘a massive attack’ on Europe, a senior Russian senator said on Tuesday.

"Today’s terrorist acts in Brussels can be qualified as a massive attack on Europe. They are almost identical to the terror attacks in Paris," said Frantz Klintsevich, first deputy chairman of the Committee for Defense and Security at the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament.

According to the Russian senator, the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels demonstrate "the same tactics: to kill as many people as possible and, what’s more, in various places to cause mass panic."

"It is absolutely obvious that both operations were planned from the single center," the Russian parliamentarian said.

"No matter how horrific this may sound, I don’t rule out that these two operations are a sort of a rehearsal. Let me remind you that France is hosting the European Football Championship in June," the senator said.

The events in France and Belgium suggest that "humankind has been confronted with a terrible and well-organized force that will stop at nothing," Klintsevich said.

"We have to admit honestly that the world has proved to be unprepared to counter the terrorist threat effectively. At least a principally new level of effort coordination is needed," the Russian parliamentarian said.

Russia is prepared for such coordination, he added.

"We’re also ready to share our experience of fighting terrorism," the senator said.

Terror threat that settled down in Europe must be countered jointly

According to Chairman of the Russian Federation Council upper house International Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev, the terrorist threat that has settled down in the "European house" requires joining forces at an early date on the basis of common values regardless of political ambitions and tactical goals.

"The direct and blunt threat is not just at the door of the European house. It has long settled down there, and it kills people," the senator said. He cited the words of Russian President Vladimir Putin that were said from the rostrum of the UN General Assembly last September on the need to be guided "not by ambitions but by shared values and common interests in forging a truly broad anti-terror coalition." "Alas, easier said than done. There are all sorts of blinders, tactical objectives - to topple [Syrian President Bashar] al-Assad, to prevent Russia from playing an important role in the Middle East, to propel to commanding positions the ‘moderate opposition’, which is still to be pieced together, even though the potential candidates leave a lot to be desired and so on," Kosachev said.

The parliamentarian also recalled that in November the Federation Council had adopted an appeal to the parliaments of the world and inter-parliamentary organizations in connection with the need to pool efforts in the fight against international terrorism and urged their counterparts "to put aside political differences and take a firm stance in favor of establishing broad and effective interstate cooperation in countering international terrorism."

"It is clear that no one will be able to ensure this right alone. And I say once again - it is time to join forces. The enemy has crossed the doorstep," Kosachev said. He offered his condolences and expressed solidarity with Brussels residents over the tragedy.

Russian lamaker links Brussels attacks to NATO policies

As for the chairman of the State Duma’s international affairs committee, Alexey Pushkov links Tuesday’s bomb blasts in Brussels with NATO’s policies. 

"The series of terrorist attacks that Brussels has just seen merely confirms how very right are those who try to direct the European Union towards cooperation with Russia in the struggle with terrorism and who maintain that the worst threat to European security comes not from Russia but from international terrorist organizations," Pushkov said. "From the geographical standpoint it comes from the zone of high instability and civil and armed conflicts in the Near and Middle East," he said. "No other conclusion offers itself."

Pushkov recalled that after last November’s terrorist attacks the Russian leadership addressed President Francois Hollande, of France, and other European leaders with a proposal for wider cooperation in the struggle with terrorism.

"Regrettably, although some cooperation was established in Syria, there has been no qualitative shifts in relations between Russia and Europe," he said.

Moreover, Pushkov went on to say, "the leadership of such organization as NATO still argues that the main threat to Europe comes from the East, from Russia."

"NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said so at the Munich conference. The alliance keeps reiterating that its main task is to deal with a Russian threat, while it is clear to all that the worst threat comes from the south," Pushkov said.

He described the just-staged terrorist attacks as fresh evidence NATO’s policies do not hold water.

"While NATO is busy with preparations for deploying more military units in the Baltic countries and the United States and NATO countries are going to drastically step up their military presence in Eastern Europe people are blown up literally next door, in Brussels, the host city of NATO’s headquarters," Pushkov said.

"In other words, this is yet another indication NATO’s priorities are absolutely wrong. There is utter misunderstanding of the nature of the current international situation. I should say, the Western and European public mind is utterly disoriented and instead of the real threat, the real enemy it is offered an ostensible enemy, Russia," Pushkov believes.

He expects that the Brussels and Paris terrorist attacks should have a very serious sobering effect on the European and Western political quarters, show them where the real threat comes from and encourage a fundamental revision of their foreign policy and system of priorities.

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