MOSCOW, February 14 (RIA Novosti) - Federal Security Service (FSB) chief Alexander Bortnikov said on Thursday the United States has increased geopolitical pressure on Russia in 2012.
“Last year saw an escalation in geopolitical pressure on Russia on behalf of the United States and its allies, who still regard our state as a rival on the international arena,” he told an FSB board meeting.
The FSB promptly responded to emerging threats and took measures to preempt or stop acts of terrorism last year, helping to strengthen the country’s global standing, he said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in mid-October that more than 300 terrorists were killed in the North Caucasus “in the past few months.” “Terrorism” in official Russian politics is used loosely and in preference to more neutral terms, such as “insurgency.”
Over a decade after the war against Islamist separatists in Chechnya ended, Russian security forces continue to fight militants in the volatile North Caucasus region.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.