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Russian security service chief urges clear rules on NGOs in ex-Soviet republics
The Associated Press
05/20/05 17:14 EDT
ASTANA, Kazakhstan (AP) - The head of Russia's security service called Friday for clear rules non-governmental organizations' activities in former Soviet republics, days after he accused foreign intelligence services of using NGOs to spy on Russia and foment political upheaval in the region.
Federal Security Service chief Nikolai Patrushev told a meeting of top security and intelligence officials from the Commonwealth of Independent States - a loose grouping of 12 ex-Soviet republics - that legislation in the CIS member-states "must not allow NGOs to do whatever they want."
Patrushev, whose agency is the main successor of the Soviet KGB, said that NGOs are useful and should be supported but repeated his allegation that some are used to gather "intelligence information."
He said Russian intelligence agencies will continue to counter the practice.
Last week, Patrushev said Russia had put a stop to espionage operations he said were carried out through foreign organizations included the U.S. Peace Corps, the British medical charity Merlin, the Saudi Red Crescent and a Kuwaiti group.
He also reiterated claims by Russian officials who have accused the United States and other Western nations of using government-funded organizations to aid opposition forces that have brought down governments in other CIS members states in the past two years.
On Friday, Patrushev presided over a meeting of a CIS group that brings together the leaders of the security and intelligence services of Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan and Ukraine. Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan have observer status.
Officials from the group signed a protocol on the creation of a unified database containing fingerprints of people accused of terrorism. Patrushev called the initiative "a very important decision in the fight against terrorism."
Идейный дурак принципиально хуже безыдейного