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Russia's upper house approves laws on National Guard
The Federation Council, the upper house of Russia's parliament, approved on Wednesday a package of presidential laws on establishing the National Guard.
As First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Defense and Security Committee Franz Klintsevich said, the creation of the troops of the new type is a response to the new realities faced by Russia in the 21st century.
"Thus, serious changes are being made to the country's law-enforcement system," the senator said.
National Guard's tasks
Under the basic law, the National or the Russian Guard will be assigned the powers of the Interior Ministry troops, special riot police OMON and SOBR and the Interior Ministry's Special Purpose Center for Rapid Response Forces.
Specifically, the National Guard will have the powers to detain citizens, check documents and seal off areas, including for the purpose of preventing mass riots.
In a state of emergency, the National Guard personnel will have the right to ban the traffic of vehicles and pedestrians, use citizens' cars to arrive at the scene of an emergency situation or chase criminals, enter houses, use force, special means and weapons, if necessary.
The National Guard is expected to comprise both contract personnel and conscripts.
The New Federal Service will receive powers in the sphere of weapons turnover and control of private security activities (currently supervised by the Interior Ministry of Russia).
The National Guard troops will be assigned the tasks to carry out joint operations with police to protect public order, ensure public security and an emergency regime, take part in the fight against terrorism and in the provision of the legal regime of a counter-terror operation, and also participate in the struggle against extremism and in Russia's territorial defense.
The Russian Guard will also have the tasks to protect important state facilities and special cargoes, provide assistance to the border protection bodies of the Federal Security Service in protecting the state border.
Activity based on the principles of legality
The package of laws on the National Guard delegates to the new Federal Service some powers similar to the functions discharged by the Federal Security Service.
Specifically, the National Guard personnel will have the power to use weapons in the crowd "for the purpose of preventing (suppressing) a terrorist act, releasing hostages, repelling an assault in concert or an armed attack on important state facilities and special cargoes, structures along communications lines protected by National Guard troops and the National Guard troops' facilities."
"National Guard troops exercise their activity on the basis of the principles of legality, the observance of the rights and freedoms of an individual and a citizen, single authority and centralized control," the explanatory note says.
The National Guard will be subordinate to the Russian president. Former Interior Ministry Troops Commander Viktor Zolotov has been appointed as the National Guard Commander.
[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 29Jun16]
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