Medvedev warns Russia's security service crisis affect on society

President Dmitry Medvedev warned Russia's state security service that the financial crisis could foster crime and social problems.

Medvedev warns Russia's security service crisis affect on society

President Dmitry Medvedev warned Russia's state security service on Thursday that the financial crisis could foster crime and social problems and ordered it to protect state funds earmarked for struggling industries.

Addressing the leadership of the Federal Security Service (FSB), Medvedev told officers that Russia was going through a "difficult" time and that the global financial crisis had given their work a particular importance.

"The global financial crisis, of course, does not help reduce the volume of crime and it creates social problems," Medvedev told officers, according to a transcript of his speech.

Russia has been hit hard by the crisis as the price of oil, its key source of revenue, fell from $147 per barrel last summer to under $50 per barrel.

Unemployment is growing, the stock market has lost more than three-quarters of its value and the value of the rouble has fallen to an all-time low.

Medvedev said a key task for the FSB, successor of the Soviet-era KGB, was to protect over $200 billion in funds pledged by the government to help struggling industries.

"The resources distributed by the government must reach their destination. Any corruption in this area must be tracked down and rooted out," Medvedev said. "To get rich by stealing during a crisis is doubly criminal."

"The place of Russia in the world ... particularly amid the global financial crisis, depends directly on the defence of our national interests," Medvedev said.

Reuters
Last Mod: 29 Ocak 2009, 17:19
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