The corresponding decrees were signed by President Putin today. The texts of the documents were then referred to the State Duma. In the morning the President had a meeting with Gennady Seleznyov, Speaker of the State Duma, to discuss planned changes in the work of security-related agencies.
The President abolished the Federal Agency for Government Communications and Information (FAPSI) and the Federal Tax Police Service (FSNP). Tax crimes would be dealt with by the Interior Ministry, while FAPSI’s functions would be distributed between the Federal Security Service and the Ministry of Defence.
The FSB will also be concerned with matters of the border service. The Federal Border Service (FPS) was abolished as an independent entity and replaced with a Border Service within the FSB. It will be temporarily led by FSB First Deputy Director Vladimir Pronichev. Konstantin Totsky, a former head of the Federal Border Service, was appointed Permanent Representative of Russia to NATO.
The Presidential decree also establishes a State Committee for the Control of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. Viktor Cherkesov, a former Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the North-Western Federal District, was appointed its chairman. Valentina Matviyenko replaces him as Presidential Envoy to that district.
The President decided to set up the State Committee for Government Defence Order attached to the Ministry of Defence. In that way, for the first time a body was established to coordinate any and all activities connected with purchasing conventional armaments for the military. Vladimir Matyukhin, a former head of the abolished FAPSI, was appointed chairman of the committee.
Mikhail Fradkov, a former director of the FSNP, was appointed Russia’s permanent representative to the European Union in the rank of minister.
At a meeting with the Cabinet President Putin explained the organisational changes above all by the need to step up the fight against illicit trafficking in drugs and terrorism. The President stressed that coordination of joint work, cuts in government personnel, optimisation of expenses and elimination of overlaps of administrative functions remained among the vital tasks of the reorganised departments.
Many of the personnel reshuffles were made not only in security-related, but also in foreign policy bodies. In that context the President noted that the appointments of Konstantin Totsky and Mikhail Fradkov as representatives to NATO and the EU were not simply personnel decisions. These steps demonstrated Russia’s readiness to maintain dialogue and constantly upgrade the level of coordination with North Atlantic and European organisations.