Source Pravda.Ru

Who will control Russian border-line checkpoints?

The Russian Frontier Service, which is part and parcel of the Federal Security Service (FSB), suggests establishing one single agency, which would control all border-line checkpoints. This was disclosed at a press conference here today by Alexander Shaikin, who heads the national Frontier Service's border-control department.

What we need is one single agency for controlling all checkpoints on the Russian territory; the new agency should get federal-budget appropriations, Shaikin told his audience.

The Russian Transport Ministry finances all railroad, airport, coastal and river checkpoints at this stage, Shaikin reminded those present.

The State Customs Committee, which is well-nigh the same structure as the Frontier Service, can't simultaneously control and finance specific checkpoints, Shaikin believes. In his words, the FSB is now studying the possibility of establishing such a joint watchdog agency.

We can set up yet another Transport Ministry department or a federal agency under the auspices of just about any structure for this purpose, Shaikin noted. The FSB's Frontier Service, which also controls national checkpoints, doesn't want to suggest establishing such an agency within its framework.

We'll officially inform the Government on this issue soon enough, Shaikin noted, adding that the current normative-legal base, including the law on the Russian state border, had been amended accordingly.

This issue might be settled over the 2004 period or next year, Shaikin went on to say.

Right now, this country has 449 checkpoints along its external perimeter.

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