Putin: I want global action against terrorism

Russia is attacking targets in Syria and Moscow says it aims to undermine ISIS, which has been joined by thousands of Russians

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Russia wants to fight terrorism jointly with the rest of the world, President Vladimir Putin said in an interview published on Monday, while again accusing the West of exacerbating international crises that had contributed to it.

“We are faced with common threats, and we still want all countries, both in Europe and the whole world, to join their efforts to combat these threats, and we are still striving for this,” Putin said in a wide-ranging interview with Germany’s Bild newspaper.

“I refer not only to terrorism, but also to crime, trafficking in persons, environmental protection, and many other common challenges,” he said.

“Yet this does not mean that it is us who should agree with everything that others decide on these or other matters.”

Russia’s air force is attacking targets in Syria and Moscow says it aims to undermine Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has been joined by thousands of Russian citizens and now poses a serious threat to national security. The group claimed responsibility for downing a Russian airliner over Egypt in October, killing 224 people.

But Russia has not joined a U.S.-led coalition carrying out strikes on ISIS, and Washington and its allies say Moscow’s strikes are only aimed at helping embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stay in power.

Putin said previous Western military interventions in Iraq and Libya had contributed to an upsurge in terrorism in these countries and elsewhere, reiterating what he had told the United Nations General Assembly in September.

He hit out at NATO’s expansion toward Russia’s borders after the Soviet Union’s demise in 1991 and at an anti-missile shield being erected by the United States, accusing the West’s expansion after the Cold War of exacerbating international crises.

Putin has repeatedly called the toppling of Ukraine’s former President Viktor Yanukovich in 2014 after months of pro-European street protests “a coup d’etat”, and has accused the West of inspiring and assisting it.

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