President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: I held a meeting in Stavropol on the situation in the Caucasus and the need to introduce additional material incentives for those directly involved in fighting crime and terrorism in the region, those who travel there for work assignments and are at the cutting edge of our counterterrorism efforts. I gave instructions to the Government on this point. I know that the Government has acted on these instructions. I was briefed on this matter by [Finance Minister Alexei] Kudrin. Mr Patrushev, I would like to hear about the final results.
Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev: In accordance with the decisions at the Stavropol meeting and the instructions you issued, we have taken steps to make the law enforcement agencies’ and special services’ work more effective. The heads of these agencies met and presented proposals on the measures they think would increase effectiveness. These proposals were then summarised and coordinated with the officials responsible for the economic side of the Government. One of the measures decided on is indeed to extend the system of material incentives that used to apply to law enforcement and special services personnel working in Chechnya to other regions in the area. The relevant changes have been made to the Government resolution, and these incentives will now apply in Ingushetia, Daghestan, Karachayevo-Circassia, Kabardino-Balkaria and North Ossetia-Alania. In other words, we have extended the resolution’s provisions to cover the regions where the situation is problematic.
Furthermore, not only law enforcement and special services personnel working in these regions will qualify for these incentives, but so will those who are sent there from other regions, and this is very important. The Government will allocate 6.1 billion rubles [around 210 million USD] next year for these purposes. Given the economic crisis this is a considerable amount of money, but the Government has found ways to make this possible.
Dmitry Medvedev: As I instructed the Government and the Security Council, this money will be spent on providing greater material incentives for those involved in fighting crime and terrorism in these republics. In other words, what this means in practice is that servicemen and law enforcement officers, that is, the FSB, Interior Ministry, Investigations Committee and a few other agencies, should see their wages increase. That is the case?
Nikolai Patrushev: Yes, the Government resolution’s provisions cover all of this. Furthermore, an order has been drafted extending these incentives to staff in the Prosecutor’s Office too. The order is ready for you to sign now.
Dmitry Medvedev: Good. This is not the only step we can take, perhaps, but it is nonetheless an important measure, because many of our colleagues working in the Caucasus risk their lives daily in the fight against crime and terrorism. They need to be paid decently for their work and service. We have taken this step now and will continue to work on this matter.
I also want to inform you, and inform everyone connected to this subject, that I have signed an order increasing social welfare provisions for the children of military servicemen and the personnel of some of the law enforcement agencies, whose parents have been killed or gone missing while carrying out their professional duties. Starting from November 1 this year, these children will receive a monthly benefit of 1,500 rubles until they turn 18. If they are students, they will continue to receive this benefit until they turn 23 or until they finish their studies. This benefit will be paid monthly and will be indexed in accordance with the indexation of the wages of military servicemen and law enforcement personnel. I think this is one of the guarantees we have a duty to provide.
Nikolai Patrushev: This is a very important guarantee.
Dmitry Medvedev: Thank you.