The President announced having signed a presidential executive order defining the new regulations on the Security Council. This document sets out the procedures for holding Security Council regular and urgent meetings, and for the work of the Security Council staff and standing commissions.
Mr Medvedev also signed a law on establishing a volunteer fire service. The President noted that this will give Russia a modern new fire prevention organisation based on international experience.
Taking part in the meeting were Chairman of the Council of Federation Sergei Mironov, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Sergei Naryshkin, Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, Director of the Federal Security Service Alexander Bortnikov, and Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service Mikhail Fradkov. Minister of Civil Defence, Emergencies and Disaster Relief Sergei Shoigu was also invited to the meeting.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Let me start with a few words on current issues.
I signed a presidential executive order setting out the new version of the Regulations on the Security Council. This document regulates the Security Council’s activities and was approved in order to implement the law On Security, the new draft of which was enacted at the end of last year.
The executive order sets out the procedures for holding the Security Council’s regular and urgent meetings, the work of its staff, procedures for various special working meetings, and the work of the Security Council’s standing commissions. I hope this will facilitate consolidated up-to-date efforts by all of the council’s members, both the permanent members, and those attending meetings in a consultative capacity.
Turning to another issue directly related to the current situation and our life today, we discussed fire prevention at a recent Security Council meeting, and not so long ago, I also held a Government meeting on this issue and gave the instruction to step up work.
The situation at the moment is complicated because the warm season has already begun, and some regions are already fighting wildfires. Last year, when we discussed this topic, the proposal to pass a law on volunteer fire brigades was put on the agenda. Such fire services operate around the world and do a lot to help consolidate state and public efforts in fighting fires because they help to get entire communities involved. These kinds of volunteer services play a very important part in disaster prevention efforts.
Last year, I issued the instruction to draw up a draft law on volunteer fire brigades. The parliament passed this law, and I have signed it. Why do I specifically draw your attention to this today? I do so because this is a very important document that, I hope, will help to combine the efforts of our state organisations too, above all the Emergencies Ministry and its fire services, other agencies, and the efforts of all who are willing to lend a hand in battling this terrible natural disaster.
More than 110,000 people have already signed up to take part in these volunteer brigades now. They represent a real force. I hope that joint work and coordinated efforts will enable us to resolve or at least reduce the problem of wildfires and other natural disasters and stop their spread across our country. I therefore want all of the agencies, and above all the Emergencies Ministry, to start implementing this document in their work. It was drafted with last year’s lessons in mind and the urgent need to put in place a well-oiled and modern mechanism for fire fighting and prevention based on international experience. So, let us put it into practice now.