Source Pravda.Ru

Russia prepared to spend billions to struggle against terrorism

Russia announced Tuesday it was pouring $5.4 billion in additional funding into its security agencies, the first concrete new step in the anti-terrorism battle that &to=http://english.pravda.ru/main/18/88/350/13855_Putin.html' target=_blank>President Vladimir Putin has called the country's No. 1 priority.

"The fight against terrorism requires a long-range perspective," &to=http://english.pravda.ru/economics/2002/10/01/37561.html' target=_blank>Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said in announcing the funding, ITAR Tass news agency said a day after Putin proposed a major extension of Kremlin control over Russia's political and security structures, informs ABC News.

According to EU Business, &to=http://english.pravda.ru/economics/2001/06/08/7352.html' target=_blank>the European Commission urged Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday to respect democracy and human rights as he bolsters control over regions and boosts security after a spate of terrorist attacks.

"Obviously this is an internal affair for Russia," said a spokeswoman when asked about Putin's call for a new system of selecting regional leaders that would give the Kremlin a powerful say in the matter.

"But all I would say is that all of us who are faced with the challenge of tackling the modern evil of terrorism have to at the same time pay due respect to democracy and &to=http://english.pravda.ru/world/ 20/91/365/13352_transdniestr.html' target=_blank>human rights.

Putin proposal - Setting up a federal commission to coordinate economic development and military action in the volatile North Caucasus in southern Russia, where the Beslan siege took place. This will be added to the powers of a new federal envoy, Dmitry Kozak, who was named on Monday.

Current system - The outgoing federal envoy only had very limited powers with no say over the armed forces in the region, reports CNN.