Since September 1, the command of the anti-terrorist operation in the North Caucasus has gone over from the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) to the Interior Ministry. A relevant decree was signed by President Vladimir Putin in the beginning of June.
Last week, Federal Security Service Director Nikolai Patrushev officially transferred the powers of commanding the anti-terrorist operation to Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov. Patrushev said that the situation in Chechnya "has considerably changed to the better." This can been seen, according to him, from the March referendum on the constitution of the republic and the "active rehabilitation of the Chechen economy." The FSB head said that the transfer of the powers to the Interior Ministry would make it possible for secret services "to pay more attention to solving operational problems." However, "the FSB is doing and will continue to do everyday work for finding and destroying bandits," Patrushev stressed.
On his part, Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov said that his ministry faces the task of ensuring security during the presidential elections in Chechnya scheduled for October 5. The work of the law enforcement bodies will be much more socially oriented, the minister added.
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