Prime Minister Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the State Border Commission
26 june 2008
Vladimir Putin's opening remarks:
Today we are holding the first meeting of the new State Border Commission.
The development of the state border is directly related to the development of the economy, trade, the transport potential of Russia, many social and migration problems, and, of course, the security of Russian citizens and the country as a whole.
Over the five years since the Commission was set up decisions have been prepared on key areas of the border policy, the work of the government agencies responsible for its implementation has become better coordinated.
Under the Federal Targeted Programme we have allocated considerable resources to develop the key sections of the state border. The creation of the border infrastructure in the North Caucasus, where the terrorist threat is particularly high, has practically been completed. Seventy-two border posts, seven border offices, housing and social amenities have been built there from scratch. I deliberately give you the figures to emphasise the scale of the work done - it is very large.
We should not slow down the pace, especially as regards the development of other areas, including the border with Kazakhstan.
Let me note that the new quality of infrastructure, including the social infrastructure, has enabled us to speed up the adoption of the contract recruitment system by the FSB's border service. The transition to that system will be completed before this year is out.
The strengthening of social guarantees to all the services on the border demands constant attention.
It is necessary to continue introducing advanced technologies of protecting the state border. The system of coastal patrol is being formed. It is a system that will perform a range of functions, including the preservation of biological resources, rescue operations and environmental monitoring.
On the whole our border infrastructure must become truly modern and friendly towards law-abiding citizens; it must fully meet the highest international standards and contribute to broader foreign trade and humanitarian links, and trans-border cooperation.
The Commission has already taken the necessary decisions. However, the implementation of some of these decisions is being unduly delayed for long periods. Examples are not far to seek. In its time the Transport Ministry carried out an inventory of the border crossing points. A large amount of analytical and information materials was gathered. They had to be used to work out proposals on modernising and regulating the technology of the operation of border crossing points. However, practical results are few and far between. In practice real work is often replaced with procedural matters, correspondence and endless approvals between agencies.
What is happening in real life? Cargo and passenger traffic across the border is growing constantly. Accordingly, the queues at the border crossing points are growing longer. Parasitic organisations and individual citizens take advantage of people's problems, which provides a spawning ground for corruption. That situation must be turned around.
I would like to stress again that practically all the decisions needed to build a modern border crossing system have been taken. The main problem is to effectively and properly fulfill them. We expect serious practical results from the Federal Agency for the Development of the State Border. At long last, it must put its act together.
All the personnel decisions must be made without delay so that the Agency could work together with all the other agencies involved in implementing the state border policy. All that is necessary must be done towards that end.
I also propose to additionally include Sergei Ivanov in this Commission as Deputy Head. He will coordinate the activities of the federal executive bodies in the sphere of the state border policy.
I also believe it is necessary to create a Government working body for organisational and technical support of the State Border Commission.
All that, I hope, will help to solve inter-agency problems and secure various approvals more expeditiously, and will relieve us of unnecessary red tape.
I give the floor to Vladimir Pronichev.