Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Window on Eurasia: FSB to Re-Absorb SVR by End of 2010, Moscow Journal Says

Paul Goble

Staunton, July 27 – An anonymous source in the Russian special services says that by the end of the year, Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, the SVR, will be folded into the FSB as a main administration, thereby boosting the reach of the FSB almost to the level of the Soviet-era KGB and undoing Boris Yeltsin’s efforts to limit the power of the intelligence services.
In a report posted on the Argumenti.ru site today, Aleksandr Grigoryev quotes this source as saying this step “will lead to a more precise coordination of the struggle with terrorist manifestions” and overcome “the quite weak” interrelationship between the SVR and the counter-intelligence officers of the FSB (www.argumenti.ru/society/2010/07/69946/).
“The situation in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other regions with strong terrorist positions requires the significant strengthening [of the FSB], including its exchange of information,” he continued. And, according to this source, there will be other changes as well at the top of the Russian intelligence system.
According to Argumenty.ru’s source, there is “definite dissatisfaction” with the work of the National Anti-Terrorist Center (NAK) ”among the first persons of the state,” a clear reference to President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. And it will be “transformed” into something like the US National Security Council.”
The source added that there had been efforts to subordinate the GRU, the main intelligence service of the General Staff, to the FSB. “But thanks to Defense Minister A. Serdyukov, and more precisely his administrative resources, the GRU still remains a relatively independent structure.”
If this report proves to be true, the growth in the power of the FSB would be so great that it seems unlikely even a revamped NAK would be able to control it. As a result, that agency would become an even more serious threat to the possibility of the democratic development of Russia.

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