President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Colleagues, we are here to discuss one of today’s biggest tasks – how to improve the Interior Ministry.
On December 24, 2009 I signed the Executive Order On Improving the Interior Ministry’s Work. This order outlines a whole number of procedures now under discussion. The Minister has presented his proposals and I have given the instruction to study them. This does not mean that we will make all the necessary decisions today, but these are matters that we need to discuss in order to develop the model we will use to modernise the ministry’s operation.
These proposals are based on the Executive Order I signed and concern the status of Interior Ministry officers, the ministry’s powers and the distribution of these powers and those of other agencies, the ministry’s procedural authority, the system of financial incentives for ministry staff, and also questions of liability and responsibility, as well as organisational issues, in other words, practically every aspect of the ministry’s operation. This is a serious undertaking.
As I said, we are not here to make the final decisions today, but I want to hear at this meeting, an internal meeting for now, a report on which of the proposals presented by the ministry and the minister can be used, and which require further elaboration.
I am therefore expecting a serious discussion of all of these different issues. I make a point of saying this publicly, because the ministry’s work has come in for a lot of public scrutiny of late. Voices have been raised in all manner of calls and appeals, some of which are nonsense, but there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the ministry’s operation is in need of serious reform, and this is precisely the aim of the proposals made by the minister and other colleagues, who all have an interest in participating in the discussions on these matters. So, let’s begin work.
I also want to bring to your attention one issue that I think is particularly topical just now, although it is perhaps more of a private matter. This is the use of less-lethal weapons. Less-lethal weapons have been involved in a number of recent crimes.
Sale of these weapons is not subject to any real control in our country: all that is done is to simply record the purchaser’s passport details. What the weapon is then used for, where it is used, and with what consequences, is anyone’s guess. These weapons are sold to anyone and everyone: people with criminal records or who have already faced criminal charges in the past, people with mental problems. Even the rules enforced in the 1990s for gas pistols, which, by the way, are a lot less dangerous than many of the weapons classified as less-lethal today, are no longer being applied.
I therefore instruct the ministry to draw up rules on the sale and circulation of less-lethal weapons. If required, make the necessary amendments to the laws on arms sale and possession in order to bring the acquisition and subsequent use of these weapons under stricter regulation. Other kinds of weapons come under special regulations in our country, but our laws provide only minimum regulation for this category of potentially harmful weapons, which in practice often do cause injury or death. We need to put this situation in order.
Draft your proposals and report back to me within 10 days.
Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev: Yes.