MOSCOW, May 27. /TASS/. Russia’s border guards have noted the increased activity of NATO structures near the Russian borders.
"The processes associated with the NATO military buildup and conducting maneuvers in the vicinity of our western borders have intensified," head of the Border Guard Service of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) General Vladimir Kulishov told TASS in an interview, answering a question in which conditions the situation on the border was forming in 2015.
In general, according to him, the situation on the border "was influenced by the risks of the emergence of hotbeds of tension at the state border caused by terrorist activity, the activity of criminal groups aimed at organizing channels and schemes of illegal migration, drug trafficking, illegal cross-border movement of goods and cargoes, plundering of aquatic biological resources". Thus, according to him, "the risks of terrorist activity in the Caucasus region persist".
In 2015, a total of 24 members of gangs were neutralized in the border area in the course of joint operations with the regional security agencies, more than 30 weapons caches were liquidated.
"The threat of penetration into Russian territory of members of Ukraine’s radical right-wing and extremist organizations, as well as the smuggling of weapons and ammunition still exists on the Russian-Ukrainian state border", the Border Guard Service chief said.
According to him, "the attempts to isolate the Crimean Peninsula and provocations against Russia’s maritime economic facilities in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov" had a negative impact.
He said among other negative factors was the threat of drug trafficking, especially at the Russian-Kazakh border section, where the main barrier to drugs from Afghanistan is located. In addition, he said, the attempts to smuggle drugs at the north-western border section have intensified. Also, he said, the border guards pay attention to poaching of aquatic biological resources in the Far East, in the Caspian Sea and the Sea of Azov.
The Russian Border Guard Service chief also touched upon Russia’s response measures to the economic and trade sanctions introduced against it by the West. "The taken response measures aimed at restricting the importation into Russia of certain types of agricultural products have stimulated an increase in cross-border illegal activities of various criminal groups and individuals who were engaged in illegal movement of goods and cargoes across the state border. In 2015, the border authorities suppressed more than 280 attempts at smuggling into Russia of fruit and vegetables, meat, dairy products and alcoholic beverages," he said.