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Monday, September 13, 2004

BBC NEWS | Europe | Putin tightens grip on security

BBC NEWS | Europe | Putin tightens grip on security: "
Putin tightens grip on security
President Vladimir Putin has ordered a drastic overhaul of the way Russia is run in the wake of a series of bombings and deadly attacks on civilians.
Mr Putin announced plans to allow him to nominate regional governors, who are currently elected.
He said a new federal commission would study the troubled North Caucasus region, at the heart of much tension.
Mr Putin addressed a special cabinet meeting, summoned after hundreds died in the school siege in Beslan.
'The organisers and perpetrators of the terror attack are aiming at the disintegration of the state, the break-up of Russia,' he told ministers, the Associated Press news agency reported.
Political shake-up
He went on to propose that the lower house of parliament, the Duma, be elected wholly on a party-list basis. Currently, half of the Duma's 450 deputies are elected that way.
The new commission on the North Caucasus - a region that includes Chechnya and the North Ossetia republic that is home to Beslan - will be headed by the government chief of staff, Dimitry Kozak.
It will concentrate on the economy, social affairs, and security powers, the Itar-Tass news agency said.
Further measures under consideration include restoring the death penalty, tighter controls on foreigners and the creation of a colour-coded alert system.
The governor of the Moscow region has said he wants checks to be carried out on anyone arriving in the capital from the Caucasus.
Security has become Moscow's number one concern following the school siege in Beslan and a series of bombings, says the BBC's Peter Biles.
The Russian army's Chief of Staff, General Yuri Baluevsky, said after the bloody end to the school siege -"

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