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Putin warns extremism to be punished with all severity of law

November 20, 2014, 17:21 UTC+3

Protecting the freedom of choice, assemblies, marches and rallies is important but one should not forget to take responsibility for one's words and actions, the Russian president says

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Russian president Vladimir Putin

Russian president Vladimir Putin

© Alexei Druzhinin/president's press office/TASS

MOSCOW, November 20. /TASS/. Russian president Vladimir Putin warned that extremism will be punished with all severity of law and this punishment will be inevitable.

“Protecting the freedom of choice, assemblies, marches and rallies responsibility for your words and your actions should not be forgotten,” the head of state said at a meeting of the Russian Security Council.

“It is necessary to know and understand that instigation of conflicts between people of different nationalities and creeds, propaganda of nationalistic ideology, massive violations of public order on these grounds, appeals to violent toppling of the current rule are a direct manifestation of anti-popular thinking and direct manifestation of extremism,” he said, adding that “It is necessary to remember about destructive after-effects of such actions.” The Russian president is convinced that such offences will be punished.

Appeal to violent toppling of current authorities is a blatant manifestation of extremism, those guilty will have to bear responsibility for such crimes with all severity of the law, the Russian president added.

However Putin has called for distinguishing between resistance to extremism and struggle against dissent.

“Resistance to extremism has nothing to do with a crackdown on dissent,” Putin said.

“Our country is free and democratic and its people have the right to have their own opinion, to express this opinion and to be in opposition,” Putin said.

He believes that the strategy of struggle against extremism must be a fundamental, working document.

“The proposed draft strategy was devised in view of challenges facing Russia. This document is a long-term one and should become basic for all branches and levels of power,” Putin said at a Security Council meeting.

In his opinion one of the most important tasks is creating a climate of public rejection of extremist, radical ideas and strengthening immunity against them.

Putin said that “for achieving these aims it is necessary to pool efforts by the state, society and all governmental and non-governmental organizations.”

Three main tracks of resistance to extremism

Russian President Vladimir Putin has named three main tracks of resistance to extremism — better focus on inter-ethnic relations, awareness promotion work with youth and measures to improve migration policies.

At a meeting with Russia’s Security Council on Thursday Putin said that “for struggle against the manifestations of extremism it is necessary to pay greater attention to inter-ethnic and inter-religious relations.” “The culture and ethnic identity of peoples deserves all round-support.”

Putin pointed to the need for work with youth, “because the leaders of extremist organizations are focusing on the youth environment as a source where to recruit followers and conduct propaganda, in the first place through the world web — the Internet.”

And the third track of resistance to extremism, according to Putin, is that of improving migration policies, because “illegal, uncontrolled migration is a favourable environment for crime.”

“There should be tighter control of the rules of migrants’ presence in Russia and thorough measures to promote their social and cultural adaptation and protection of legal and other rights,” Putin said.

Lessons of “colour revolutions” in other countries

Russian President Vladimir Putin believes Russian society should derive lessons from the experience of other countries, where extremism is being used as a geopolitical tool and to prevent “colour” revolutions in Russia.

“In the modern world extremism is being used as a tool of geopolitics and redivision of spheres of influence. We see the tragic consequences the wave of so-called “colour” revolutions has brought about and the turmoil that has been and is being experienced by the peoples of the countries that have gone through irresponsible experiments of latent and sometimes crude, outspoken intervention in their affairs,” Putin said at a meeting of the Security Council.

“For us this is a lesson and a warning,” he said.

“We are obliged to do our utmost to ensure nothing of the sort should ever happen in Russia,” Putin said.

“It will be redundant to say what grave, irreversible consequences the proliferation of extremist ideas may have on our multi-ethnic country. For this reason we should systematically and persistently push ahead with the prevention of extremism and to uproot even pre-requisites for its emergence,” Putin said.

He is certain that it is necessary to promptly identify the causes that may provoke ethnic, social or religious conflicts.”

“All these are by no means departmental tasks. The law enforcement bodies alone will not manage,” Putin warned. “Involved in this multi-faceted and complex work must be other ministries concerned, all levels of power, the system of education, political parties, civil society structures, human rights organizations and representatives of other religions of Russia.”

Putin called upon them “to participate in the struggle with extremism jointly, to present a common front, to forestall the outbreaks of extremism and to conduct awareness promotion work in the Internet and to bring about conditions for strengthening peace and accord in society.




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