Secretary of the Russian Security Council Vladimir Rushailo and French Interior Minister Daniel Vaillant believe that it is necessary to combine the effort to combat any forms of international terrorism, the officials told journalists following negotiations in the Kremlin. Speaking about the French attitude to the Russian anti-terrorist operation in Chechnya in the light of the current events in Afghanistan, Vaillant stated that France's position concerning international terrorism, has always been consistent: it is necessary to fight terrorism on the scene. Vaillant believes that both France, Spain, and Russia, just like any other country, including the United States, have the right to take all necessary steps to punish terrorists who commit inhuman acts against their citizens. The French Interior Minister stressed that after September 11 the United States clearly realised the necessity to merge the effort to combat terrorism and Mafia gangs sponsored by terrorists. Russian law-enforcements for some time have been co-operating with their French colleagues. In the near future, the countries are expected to develop and sign an agreement on bilateral police co-operation. A joint expert group is currently operating in Russia. The group's scope of responsibility includes, in particular, combating international terrorism and the exchange of important information. Vladimir Rushailo expressed his strong appreciation of the French positive approach to the issue of the combined struggle against terrorism. "We completely share the point of view of our French colleagues that it is necessary not only to fight terrorist acts, but to prevent them as well," the Russian SC Secretary stressed.
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