Source Pravda.Ru

Russian Interior Minister on problems of Russia's Northwestern region

Russian Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov thinks the major problems of the country's northwestern region are illegal migration, drug trafficking and counterfeit money.

Gryzlov made this announcement during a seminar called "Law-enforcing Authorities in Russia, Finland and the European Union under Conditions of Global Risks," which opened in the Moscow-based Center of Strategic Developments on Thursday. Among those attending are Finnish Vice Premier and Interior Minister Ville Itala and officials from the Russian foreign ministry and Federal Frontier Service.

Last year, according to Gryzlov, the interior ministries of Russia and Finland conducted a series of joint operations, including the special operation Border which netted several criminal gangs specializing in illegal migration, stealing of cars from Finland and delivery of counterfeit money to Russia.

In the wake of the September 11 attacks in the USA, the seminar is a "timely and topical" event of "great importance to both Russia and the world community," said the minister.

He also added that the fight against terrorism can only be effective if the world community joins its efforts.

Development of new technologies serves to the advantage of terrorists and may lead to "globalization of terrorism," stressed Gryzlov, adding that Russia is particularly worried about the cases of airplane hijacking and biological terrorism and has already taken measures to prevent these threats. However, it is still necessary for all countries to step up their anti-terrorist activity, he stated.

It is expected that the seminar will end with the signing of a plan of joints actions of the Russian and Finnish interior ministries for 2002 and 2003.

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