Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

FSB Told to Stop Political Extremism

Itar-TassPutin on Wednesday at a gathering of senior FSB officers at the agency's headquarters on Lubyanskaya Ploshchad.
President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday called on the Federal Security Service to combat political extremism and racism in the run-up to the State Duma election in December and next year's presidential contest.

"It is important not just to ensure the rule of law and order, but also to safeguard society from attempts to introduce extremist and racist ideas," Putin told senior officers at FSB headquarters on Lubyanskaya Ploshchad, reported.

Putin also called for vigilance in the battle against terrorism and corruption.

As parliamentary campaigns get under way in a number of regions this spring and the Duma campaign heats up in the fall, some candidates are likely to try to capitalize on the growing popularity of nationalism in society.

In his remarks, Putin, who headed the FSB in 1998 and the first half of 1999, praised the agency's performance in 2006. He mentioned specifically the suppression of the insurgency in Chechnya and the absence of security breaches during the Group of Eight summit in St. Petersburg and the summit with the European Union in Sochi.

Putin promised hikes in the FSB's budget and in officers' wages. The FSB budget, which is classified, increased by 27 percent in 2006 and will rise by a similar amount this year, Putin said.

The president said the agency would receive 20 percent more money for weapons and equipment this year, and that salaries in the agency would jump by 25 percent over last year.

Putin exhorted the agency to increase their efforts to "counter the terrorist threat," Interfax reported. He said the FSB-led National Anti-Terrorist Committee, created last year, had proven effective in coordinating the government's response to terrorism.

The president also told officers to step up their efforts to battle corruption. "The business community in this country should be reliably protected from corruption," he said.