Russia says it will propose new counter-terrorism measures to G8
NEW DELHI, March 30 (RIA Novosti, Larisa Sayenko) - Russia will use its presidency of the G8 to put forward new ideas on countering the terrorist threat, a senior Foreign Ministry official said Thursday.
"First of all, [we shall propose] a coordinating role for the United Nations and [shall] call for harmonization of anti-terrorism laws," the deputy head of the ministry's press service, Vladimir Ivanov, said in an interview in New Delhi, in which he also slammed what he said are "double standards" being applied in the war on terror.
"Some people seem to think that those who blow up buses with passengers in Chechnya are 'good guys' but those bombing the London Underground are 'bad'," he said. "Extremism combined with a fight for freedom is an explosive mixture, the consequences of which we are now seeing in Iraq."
Ivanov, in the Indian capital for a roundtable organized by the Russian center of science and culture there, said Russia would promote interaction between civil society and the state to cut off financial support for extremist groups.
"We will likely hold an international forum for representatives of business circles, civil society and government bodies in Moscow in September," Ivanov said. "It is our opinion that it is impossible to counter this evil effectively without the assistance of civil society. And we need the support of the business community to cut off international financial aid to terrorist organizations."
Drug trafficking is a major source of financing for terrorist groups, Ivanov said, and Russia would call on the international community to take swift and coordinated action against it. But he said the country is not looking to monopolize counter-terrorism initiatives.
"We back the United Kingdom's proposals on measures to prevent young men from being recruited into extremist organizations and to stop military training of guerillas under the pretext of religious education," he said.
Ivanov also hailed the trial in France of 20 terrorists who he said had operated in the troubled North Caucasus republic of Chechnya.