The Public Order Minister George Voulgarakis, in view of his official trip to Russia from 23/10/2005 to 27/10/2005, gave the NOVOSTI Russian News Agency the following interview:
“Journalist: Which would be the main subjects you would wish to cover with your visit to Moscow?
Minister: The main pillar of my visit to Moscow is to set up new levels of cooperation, in particular following last year?s precious experience from organizing the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. We aim, among others, at transferring the experience and know-how acquired in the field of security as well as enlarging our cooperation at the level of Secret Services. Politically speaking, I shall have a significant opportunity to have an insight to the structures and functions of your country.
Journalist: Whom have you scheduled to meet during your visit?
Minister: Let me start by telling you that I shall be joined by the Chief of the Hellenic Police Force, Police Lieutenant General Mr. Aggelakos, the Head of the Hellenic Intelligence Service, Ambassador Ioannis Korantis and a small number of high-ranking officials. In Moscow, I shall have the opportunity to talk with the FSB Head Mr. PATRUSHEV, the Home Affairs Minister Mr. NURGALIYEV and the General Secretary of the Security Council Mr. IVANOV. I shall also have the chance to make some other interesting meetings and contacts in the context of the official visit.
Journalist: According to your opinion, which would be the new fields of cooperation that might come up from these contacts between the two countries and the two competent Ministries?
Minister: First of all I would like to point out that the Greek-Russian cooperation is quite satisfactory; nevertheless, there is always room for improvement. Regarding potential fields of cooperation, I think that we can delve more into this issue at the end of the talks with my counterpart Minister.
However, I can still tell you that the talks? framework shall be limited to the following components:
- Firstly, transferring experience and know-how acquired by our Services from organizing the Olympic Games.
- Secondly, enlarging cooperation between Greece and Russia at the Secret Services level; this deeper cooperation shall secure top security level both at the interior and the regional level.
- Thirdly, better coordination for further deepening cooperation between law-enforcement authorities of both countries, so as to fight illegal immigration, illegal displacement of people, drug trafficking and electronic crime.
- Last but not least, coordinated efforts to set up conditions of energy security. In other words, the energy pipes linking the Black Sea to the Mediterranean must be provided with reinforced security against all forms of crime.
Journalist: Greece had a unique opportunity to organize the best and safest Olympic Games but also to put up an integrated Olympic Security Model. What part of the know-how of the Hellenic Police Force and of other Services can be used in the future to organize large-scale international events?
Minister: It is indeed true that organizing the Athens 2004 Olympic Games in an environment of absolute security constituted a particularly high challenge for our country, given the fact that no other country had ever developed integrated security planning for such kind of limelight events. Therefore, we had to develop an integrated management model with clearly separated fields of competence in the political, strategic and operational level, a model that allowed us to coordinate all actions. Furthermore, we set up operational centres both at the strategic and tactical level, with the participation of all involved parties, under the single command and coordination of the Hellenic Police Force. This model was tested using a series of exercises involving all parties at all levels. To support this planning, it was necessary to have access to state-of-the-art equipment and provide thorough staff training. In addition to that, we had excellent foreign cooperation both at the level of international organizations and at the bilateral level with other countries.
Today, after the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, Greece has a new security model provided with the following features:
- Integrated and tested domestic security plan,
- Sophisticated technology and know-how,
- Experienced and specialized staff,
- Communication management plan,
- Modern structures, institutions and procedures.
Apart from that, on the basis of the Olympic ΄acquis΄, we set up the Centre for Security Studies at the Ministry of Public Order, a think tank to analyze issues in terms of security, crisis management and terrorist action.
We have already established a cooperation framework with many countries that have undertaken similar large-scale international ventures for the future, such as China and Germany. We operate at the consultancy level, transferring to those countries our own integrated and tested domestic security plan and communication management, while we are also working together in the field of exercises.”
Click to open the interview translated in the Russian language (pdf format)
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