Foreign powers are attempting to destabilize Russia from outside and within, Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed.
Speaking at a board meeting of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), Putin said NATO's growing presence on Russia's borders was proof that the West wanted to draw Russia into a confrontation. He also dismissed the organization's decision to categorize Russia as a “major security threat” saying the move was a ruse to justify extending NATO's influence.
The president also said Ukraine was another threat which wanted to draw Moscow into a military confrontation. He accused Kiev of trying to disrupt peace negotiations by aggravating conflict in the Donbass region.
“[The Ukrainian authorities] speak openly about carrying subversive activities, including in Russia," he said. "It is a cause for concern."
Despite his condemnation of Western governments, Putin did stress that Russian needed to restore dialogue with European and U.S. Intelligence agencies — primarily to better fight terrorism.
"Bloody conflicts involving international terrorist groups are continuing in a number of countries across the Middle East, Asia and Africa. These are in fact terrorist armies: receiving hidden and or explicit support from certain countries," he said.