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Putin calls on intelligence to intensify its efforts against "traitors and spies," and Washington threatens Belarus


Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered tightening border security measures, called on his country's intelligence services to step up their efforts to uncover "traitors and spies," and vowed to defend the territories annexed by his country from Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered tightening border security measures, and called on his country's intelligence services to step up their efforts to uncover "traitors and spies," and pledged to defend the lands his country annexed from Ukraine last September.

Putin said in a speech during the "Day of the Security Services" - which is widely celebrated in Russia - that the intelligence services should intensify their efforts to thwart foreign intelligence operations, and quickly detect "traitors, spies and saboteurs."

The Russian president also called for tightening border security, saying that "any attempts to breach it must be quickly and effectively thwarted using all the forces and means at our disposal."

Putin promised to protect the residents of the Ukrainian provinces annexed by Russia, and said that Moscow would provide them with more "material and modern weapons."

Visit to Belarus

The Russian president's speech came hours after his talks with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Monday, in Putin's first visit to Minsk since 2019.

Putin confirmed that he had discussed the establishment of a unified defense field between Moscow and Minsk, but the Kremlin denied that the aim behind the visit was to involve Belarus in what Moscow calls the Russian military operation in Ukraine.

"We discussed in detail the issues of creating a unified defense sphere and ensuring the security of the Union state," the Russian president said, adding that the two sides agreed to "carry out mutual deliveries of the required weapons, participate in the production of new military equipment, and continue joint military exercises."

Putin noted, "This form of cooperation is not our invention. The United States has been carrying out similar activities with its allies within the NATO bloc for decades."

For his part, the Belarusian president confirmed the deployment of Russian-made "S-400" and "Iskander" missile systems on his country's territory.

"We cannot guarantee our military security without Russia's help," Lukashenko said at a joint press conference with Putin. "Judging from the current situation along the border, we discussed some important details of cooperation in the field of military security."

American warning

On the other hand, US State Department spokesman Ned Price warned Belarus of the consequences of providing support to Russia in the war in Ukraine.

"What has always worried us is that despite what we hear from Putin, Lukashenko and his regime, the Russian president has managed to use Belarus as a springboard for his brutal war against Ukraine," Price said.

"We will closely monitor whether Belarus provides additional support for Putin's war, and if that happens, we will respond appropriately with additional measures to hold the Lukashenko regime accountable," he added.

Source: aljazeera

All news articles on 2022-12-20

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