Russia warns UN of global terror threat
ALMATY: Russia warned the UN’s top counter-terrorism committee on Wednesday that recent terror attacks in the country and in Uzbekistan were part of a global terror threat.
Twelve former Soviet republics grouped in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) “faced directly by manifestations of widescale international terrorism, see this as a global threat,” top CIS official Vladimir Rushailo told the United Nation’s committee.
Russia was chairing the fourth meeting of the committee, founded after the September 11 attacks on the United States, this time holding its talks in Kazakhstan, a former Soviet Central Asian republic.
About 100 countries and international organisations were involved in the meeting, which focused on increasing cross-border assistance and communication in fighting terrorism, and particularly in intercepting funds.
The concerns of Russia and several former Soviet Central Asian countries dominated the meeting’s opening.
The CIS considers it necessary “to refrain from double standards in relation to persons involved in carrying out terrorist acts, who are often characterised as holy warriors or participants in national freedom movements,” Rushailo said.
His comments, seeming to refer to Akhmed Zakayev, a Chechen separatist spokesman who has asylum in Britain, were echoed by Andrey Denisov, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations and the counter-terrorism committee’s chairman.
“In order to work out a more common opinion ... it’s better to avoid double standards in defining terrorism and accordingly the fight against terrorism,” Denisov said when asked about Zakayev.
Both Russia and the former Soviet Central Asian countries have been criticised by rights campaigners for trampling on human rights and the rule of law in their battles against terrorism.
The meeting in Kazakhstan comes against the backdrop of the Beslan tragedy in which at least 344 people, half of them children, were killed in Russia’s North Ossetia last autumn and a series of suicide blasts and shoot-outs in Kazakhstan’s neighbour Uzbekistan that killed around 50 people, also last year. afp