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CIA employees worked in Russian government in mid-1990s — Putin

He underscored that "of course, the situation has changed"

NOVO-OGARYOVO, December 9. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin shed some light on the methods that foreign states used to influence the Russian Federation in mid-1990s. He underscored that he thwarted such actions in the early 2000s.

"For instance: mid-1990s-early 2000s; in the early 2000s, I’ve cleaned all of them out, but in mid-1990s, we had Central Intelligence Agency employees as advisors and even official employees of the government of the Russian Federation, as we learned later," Putin said at the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights meeting Thursday.

"Later, they were brought to responsibility in the US for, while being CIA employees and working in Russia, they violated the US law and took part in the privatization," the President underscored. According to Putin, "this is only one example" of attempted interference in Russia’s internal affairs. "In reality, they are much more numerous," Putin said.

According to the head of state, "certain countries had some degree of control via this channel."

"There were American specialists sitting at our nuclear weapons complex sites, they went to work there, from morning to late night - they had a table and an American flag. They lived there and worked there. They did not need any fine instruments to interfere in our life, because they had control over everything already," Putin said.

He underscored that "of course, the situation has changed, the country became different, it became more independent, more sovereign; its armed forces’ capabilities are growing and the attitude towards Russia began to change."

"As soon as Russia started claiming its interests, started to raise its sovereignty, economy and armed forces’ capability, new instruments of influence on our internal political life became needed, including rather fine instruments via various organizations, funded from abroad," the Russian leader believes.

He underscored that Russia has not become hostile to anyone.

"This is simply not true. Russia has not become hostile to any part of the world at all. A certain part of the world considers us their adversaries," Putin noted. "Did we declare anyone as our adversary in any strategic documents? No. It is us who were declared," Putin explained.