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Putin offers condolences to King of Spain over Barcelona attack

August 17, 22:37 updated at: August 17, 23:37 UTC+3

On August 17, a car drove into pedestrians in the La Rambla street area in downtown Barcelona, killing 13

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© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, August 17. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered his condolences to the King of Spain, Felipe VI, over the Barcelona terrorist attack, the Kremlin press service said in a statement on Thursday.

"We strongly condemn this brutal and cynical crime against civilians," Putin said in his condolence message. "What has happened once again emphasizes the need for the global community to join efforts to fight against the forces of terror," he added.

The Russian leader conveyed sympathy and support to the families and friends of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to those injured.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has expressed condolences to the families of the people killed in a terrorist attack in Barcelona on Thursday.

"I wish to convey deep condolences to the next-of-kin of the people killed in the terrorist attack in Barcelona and wish an early recovery to those injured," the prime minister wrote on his Facebook account. "The terrorist attack in Barcelona, at the busiest site of the city - is a heinous crime," he said.

"I am confident that we can conquer international terrorism only through joint efforts of the whole global community," the prime minister wrote.

The global community should work together to stop terrorism, said United Nations Under-Secretary-General Yuri Fedotov, the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

"Shocked by the terrible act of terror in Barcelona. Condolences to the victims’ families, recovery wishes to the injured. Together we must stop terrorism," he wrote on Twitter.

Need to join efforts

A senior Russian legislator said on Thursday that the terrorist attack in Barcelona has once again confirmed that no one in the present-day world can feel safe and that joint efforts are needed to fight international terrorism.

"The main, fundamental condition is to destroy IS (the terrorist group outlawed in Russia) as the breeding ground for international terrorism," first deputy chairman of the Federation Council’s committee for defense and security told reporters.

"The humankind can conquer this curse of the 21st century only through joint efforts. We in Russia convey sincere condolences to the next-of-kin of the dead," said Frants Klintsevich.

The legislator reiterated that terrorism knows no borders. "The terrorist attack in Barcelona has once again confirmed that no one in the present-day world can feel safe. It makes no matter whether this concrete country is waging a real fight against terrorism or just imitates it. The target for the strike is often chosen at random, that is why it is difficult to forecast where the strike will come next time," Klintsevich said.

He said Europe has failed to adapt millions of refugees from the Middle East, and many of them are a potential threat.

"Of course, security measures must be stepped up. All the more as terrorists repeat themselves - it is not for the first time that a van is used as the murder weapon. But these measures will produce results only if they fit within the context of a new migration policy, common for the whole Europe. Meanwhile, everything boils down to conversations," Klintsevich’s press service quotes him as saying.

Anti-terrorism experience 

Russia’s law enforcement agencies may share their experience in fighting terrorism with their EU counterparts, Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) member, Deputy Head of the National Guard’s Expert Council Mikhail Starshinov told reporters on Thursday.

While commenting on the Barcelona van attack, he said that "today’s realities show that the priority task is to ensure security during mass activities, in places popular with tourists and on public transport, which are the targets that attract terrorists the most."

"Often times, people feel annoyed at what they believe to be an excessive number of police officers on the streets, metal detectors, bag examinations and so on," Starshinov said. "But experience has shown that here in Russia these measures are effective, while the inconvenience is minimal," he pointed out.

"I am sure that police and specials services in the European countries could learn much from their Russian counterparts," he went on to say. "It they make such a request, our law enforcement agencies will surely find various ways to cooperate with them and share their experience," he concluded.

On Thursday, a car drove into pedestrians in the La Rambla street area in downtown Barcelona, causing fatalities and casualties. The Catalonia police have designated the incident as a terrorist attack. According to the local authorities, two suspects have been detained.

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