Russian President Says Fighting Against Terrorism Will Remain Paramount Issue For CIS Leaders

Until the issue of combat against terrorism is resolved, it will remain paramount for the CIS leaders, said Russian President Vladimir Putin at a press conference after the end of the CIS summit held in Kremlin. According to the Russian leader, issues of combating terrorism were considered at today's meeting of the CIS leaders. He noted that the CIS countries had faced the problem of terrorism "earlier than others". "That is why we are more aware of how to act," Putin said. He added that the CIS countries had taken on co-ordinated positions on the key issues of fighting against terrorism in a timely manner." The President mentioned that an anti-terrorist centre and rapid reaction forces had been created for this purpose. Putin said he was sure that the problem of fighting against terrorism could be efficiently resolved in the CIS framework. The President said one of the Commonwealth's priorities was maintenance of security and stability within the CIS. According to Putin, all CIS leaders believe that timely measures must be taken to avert such threats as international terrorism. He emphasised that joint efforts are needed to combat this evil. "The September 11 tragedy showed how vulnerable a single country is, when faced with international terrorism," the Russian head of state noted.