Wednesday 17 January 2018

Putin wants new security system to combat terrorism

Russian servicewomen march at Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow
Russian servicewomen march at Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow
Russian President Vladimir Putin watches honor guards passing by during a wreath-laying ceremony to mark the 71st anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin walls

Hannah Korensky in Moscow

Russia wants to help build an international security system that transcends military blocs, President Vladimir Putin said at the annual Victory Day military parade in Red Square.

Mr Putin's short speech yesterday also warned against "unacceptable double standards that shortsightedly indulge those who are nurturing new criminal plans".

He made no specific claims, but both the accusation of double standards and the call for a "non-bloc system of international security" echo Russia's frequent criticism of the West and the Nato alliance.

The hour-long parade, an annual fixture commemorating the Soviet Union's victory over the Nazis in World War Two, took place in bright sunshine as President Vladimir Putin looked on from a tribune filled with Soviet war veterans, some of whom wore rows of campaign medals and clutched red roses.

The Russian leader, whose forces annexed Ukraine's Crimea in 2014 and are now helping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's army, watched as thousands of troops marched across the cobbled square to the strains of martial music.


"It (the commemoration) has become a symbol of sacred closeness between Russia and its people," Putin told the parade.

"And in such unity and loyalty to the motherland lies our strength, our confidence, and our dignity."

The Kremlin also now uses the annual event to show how a multi-billion dollar modernisation programme is changing the face of the military with new weapons and hardware.

Some politicians in former Soviet republics or satellite states regard the parade as crude sabre-rattling by a resurgent Russia which they say poses a threat to Europe's security. Russia dismisses such allegations as nonsense.

Putin, in his speech, largely confined his remarks to the importance of the wartime victory. But he also spoke of the need to fight global terrorism and to co-operate with other nations to do that.

"Terrorism has become a global threat," said Putin.

"We must defeat this evil. And Russia is open to uniting efforts with other governments, is ready to work on the creation of a modern non-bloc system of international security."

Irish Independent

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