PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA DMITRY MEDVEDEV: Two terrorist attacks were committed in the Moscow metro this morning. Let us first of all honour the victims’ memory with a minute of silence.
Preventing these kinds of terrorist attacks and ensuring security in the transport system are very difficult tasks, as recent experience shows. We need to intensify substantially our efforts in this area and address this problem in comprehensive fashion on the national scale. It is not enough to focus on just one type of transport or just one specific location. We need to address this problem at the national level. The measures taken to date are clearly insufficient.
As for the concrete steps to take right now, we need, of course, to help the people affected, first of all, provide help and support to the families of those killed and help all the victims, help those now in hospitals. They must get all necessary aid from the Moscow authorities and from the federal government.
I have instructed the Government to hold a meeting today to discuss all of these issues in detail. I ask the Government to carry this out.
Regarding the situation in general, we need to remain vigilant. The sad truth is that these kinds of attacks are clearly always well-planned, calculated to cause as many victims as possible, and aimed at destabilising our country and society. The Interior Ministry and the security services must therefore work to raise public awareness and keep tight control on the situation. Of course, they must respect citizens’ rights, but keep things under tight control, intervening and responding as necessary if circumstances call for it.
Such practice exists throughout the world and in Russia too. Sadly, this is not the first time we find ourselves facing this sort of event. We therefore need to have precise and prepared responses in this kind of situation.
The Prosecutor General’s Office and the Investigative Committee must continue collecting evidence and conducting a thorough investigation, though without hampering traffic in the metro system, of course. Traffic must resume as soon as the investigations work has been completed, so as not to cause problems for the city.
All versions advanced so far need to be investigated as thoroughly as possible. This is very clearly a continuation of the terrorist activity we have already encountered, and the investigation will no doubt be based primarily on this version. Keep the investigation under your control and report to me on developments.
One final point I want to make is that we will continue our efforts to stamp out and combat terrorism in our country. We will continue our counterterrorist operations with unflinching resolve until we have defeated this scourge. I want all of you, the heads of our law enforcement and security agencies, to remember this and make it your guiding principle – we will act unflinchingly and not stop until terrorism is defeated.
We will hold another meeting soon on specific consequences of these attacks. Now we need to get on with our immediate duties, and so I propose that we all get back to our respective work.