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Russia pushes common database on foreign terrorists


10-16-2016 14:17 BJT

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Russia has suggested the creation of a common database on foreign terrorists to tighten security among BRICS states. This comes as thousands of Russian nationals and those from former Soviet Union republics fight alongside terrorist groups in Syria. Russia has already adopted some controversial anti-terror measures.

Moscow is calling for the BRICS countries to create a common database for foreign terrorists and to increase the exchange of information about their movements. 

Thousands of Russian citizens are known to be fighting alongside ISIL and other terrorist groups in Syria. Their return to Russia is of great concern. Moscow believes international terrorism remains a major threat to BRICS, made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. But some experts believe that close anti-terror cooperation among BRICS states may be difficult.

“China has thrown its weight to support Pakistan which India considers to be terrorist-sponsored state. So in such a situation when two key members of BRICS lock horns over the issues of how to define terrorism and how to see terrorism it is very difficult to make a leap forward in translating that into reality,” said Sergey Strokan, political analyst.

Russia has adopted a number of measures to counter terrorism on its soil. Russian President Vladimir Putin approved new anti-terrorism legislation, championed by lawmaker Irina Yarovaya. It toughens penalties for extremism and obliges telephone network operators to store recordings of phone calls for half a year. Critics say that the law curbs basic freedoms, makes it easier for the authorities to stifle dissent and will raise prices for mobile phone services.

Countries around the world have been boosting their security measures following a series of recent terrorist attacks, including in Paris, Nice and Brussels. At the BRICS Summit in India, Moscow is likely to seek more joint efforts to counter terrorism.

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