Russia says it faces growing threats from U.S. and allies

MOSCOW, March 28 Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:50am EDT

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MOSCOW, March 28 (Reuters) - Moscow faces growing threats from the United States and its allies, who are trying to weaken Russia's influence on Ukraine, a senior security official was quoted as telling President Vladimir Putin on Friday.

"There has been a sharp increase in external threats to the state. The lawful desire of the peoples of Crimea and eastern Ukrainian regions is causing hysteria in the United States ad its allies," Interfax quoted Alexander Malevany, deputy head of the Federal Security Service, as saying.

He said Russia was taking "offensive counterintelligence and intelligence measures" to blunt Western efforts to "weaken Russian influence in a region that is of vital importance to (Moscow)," Interfax reported. (Writing by Steve Gutterman, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

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