22 May 2013, 14:53
Radical Islamism is the most real threat to Russia - General Kulikov
*** Russia has no honest allies in issues relating to the prevention of aggressive Islamism
Moscow, May 22, Interfax - Radical Islamism is now present in 55 regions of Russia, General Anatoly Kulikov, former interior minister of Russia and president of the Russian Military Commanders Club, said at the conference Islamism and National Security of Russia held on Wednesday.
"Of all existing threats, the most real threat to Russia is radical political Islam, or Islamism, which has declared a jihad in our country," Kulikov told the conference.
Kulikov recalled that "Islamist centers have been at war with us since the time the Soviet contingent was brought to Afghanistan."
"They assisted the Dudayev regime in Chechnya and they now continue helping the extremists in the Northern Caucasus with money, weapons, instructors and people, and they are ready to continue the war on the entire territory of the country," Kulikov said.
"The ways in which the role of Islamism is disseminated or increased on our territory is comparable to the way in which the West promotes its democratic values (interference in the internal affairs of other countries, use of force), and therefore it appears that further tolerance of radical movements has nothing to do with freedom of religion," Kulikov said.
Kulikov believes that "Russia has no honest allies in issues relating to the prevention of aggressive Islamism."
"The entire fight against terrorism in the Northern Caucasus showed that. Terrorists, ideologists, and Islamist adepts find secure shelter in countries with so-called ancient democracies, even in cases when these democracies come under terrorist attacks," Kulikov said.
Kulikov said he is convinced that among the factors that influenced the spread of radical Islamism in Russia is "the overpopulation of many regions of Russia by migrants."
General Anatoly Kulikov was previously commander of the United Group of Troops in the Northern Caucasus and interior minister of Russia.