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Putin aide: Russia losing war on terror

Feb. 18, 2004 at 7:26 PM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Russia is losing its war against economic crime and terrorism, a top aide to President Vladimir Putin has said.

"Peace is not yet with us. Terrorist activity is taking on the character of open defiance of the state and society," Viktor Ivanov, deputy chief of Putin's presidential staff in the Kremlin, told a conference at the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Moscow last Thursday, according to a report in the Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper monitored by the BBC.

"Counterterrorism activity is not yet achieving its main purpose," Ivanov said. "We are still not succeeding in preventing terrorist attacks which have increased by 50 percent in the past year."

Russia's police are also losing their war against dirty money, Ivanov said. Around $11 billion is being illicitly converted into cash in Russia every year, he said.

"Analysis of the situation suggests that a significant proportion of this money consists of the proceeds of organized crime from the narcotics trade and illegal immigration and is very possibly financing terrorist activity," he said.

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