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Putin to meet with Russian Security Council members to discuss anti-extremism strategy

November 20, 2014, 1:34 UTC+3 MOSCOW
A special place in preventing extremism is allocated to civil society institutions
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MOSCOW, November 20. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will chair on Thursday a meeting of the Russian Security Council that will discuss a draft Strategy of Counteracting Extremism in Russia till the year 2025, the Kremlin press service said.

“It is also planned to discuss a range of issues concerning measures to improve the state anti-extremism policy,” the press service said.

The keynote reports will be delivered by Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev, as the interior ministry was in charge of drafting the Strategy.

Earlier, the interior ministry said that the basic concept of the draft was as follows: to enhance efforts against concrete manifestations of extremism and, at the same time, to boost the efficiency of measures aimed against radical ideology in order to prevent its spreading into public conscience.

The key task of the Strategy, according to the ministry, is to set the goals, priorities and instruments of the state policy of pooling efforts of all power institutions and civil society to strengthen unity of the Russian people, to reach inter-religious and interethnic accord, and to form intolerance towards propaganda and dissemination of extremist ideas.

A special place in preventing extremism is allocated to civil society institutions. Earlier in the year, the draft was discussed by members of the presidential human rights council.

The Russian president has repeatedly spoken against extremism. “It is inadmissible to turn a blind eye, to underestimate extremist outrages from anyone, Putin said. “It is necessary to draw a clear line between legal opposition activities present in every democratic state and extremism which rests on hatred, whipping up interethnic and social hatred and ignoring law and the constitution.”

In 2014, Russian laws were amended to toughen responsibility for extremism. Thus, amendments to the Russian Criminal Code tightened responsibility for public calls for extremist activities, including via the internet. Thus, a fine for the organization of an extremist organization has been raised from 200,000 (4,270 U.S. dollars) to 500,000 roubles (10,690 U.S. dollars), terms of correctional labour have been increased from four to five years, and prison terms have been increased from four to six years.

Another law has established prison terms for financing extremist activities. Such charges carry a punishment from a fine of 300,000-500,000 roubles to a prison term of up to three years. If such offense is committed with the appropriation of corporate opportunities, a maximal punishment may reach six years in a penitentiary. Apart from that, the law provides for the seizure of property gained through committing extremism-related offences.

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