FSKN, FMS may be disbanded, powers given to Interior Ministry - newspaper

Some officers of the Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN) may join criminal investigation units and nearly half of Federal Migration Service (FMS) workers may be transferred to a new passport-and-visa department of the Russian Interior Ministry, the newspaper Kommersant wrote on Wednesday.

Some officers of the Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN) may join criminal investigation units and nearly half of Federal Migration Service (FMS) workers may be transferred to a new passport-and-visa department of the Russian Interior Ministry, the newspaper Kommersant wrote on Wednesday.

"Two services, FSKN and FMS, are planned to be disbanded amid budget cuts. FSKN has approximately 34,000 employees at the moment; about 27,000 of them will be dismissed and 7,500 will be transferred to criminal investigation units of the Interior Ministry," the newspaper said.

According to the newspaper, the proposals have been made by the Finance Ministry, the Interior Ministry and FSKN.

Relevant Health Ministry services, rather than the police will oversee the legal distribution of narcotic drugs by pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies and the like, Kommersant wrote.

About 19,500 employees of the Federal Migration Service, which currently employs over 40,000 civil servants and attached servicemen from the Interior Ministry, will be transferred to the Interior Ministry, State Duma Security and Anti-Corruption Committee Deputy Chairman Alexander Khinshtein told the newspaper.

The Interior Ministry may restore the passport-and-visa service, the predecessor of the Federal Migration Service, he said.

In turn, a source in the Federal Drug Control Agency told Kommersant that, according to the Finance Ministry's estimates, the FSKN shutdown may only deliver an economic benefit in 2017 whilst problems created by it will be encountered immediately.

He underlined that rehabilitation programs for drug addicts, which had been actively promoted by FSKN Director Viktor Ivanov, might be frozen amid FSKN reorganization.

The disbandment of FSKN has been actively opposed by a number of public organizations, the newspaper said.

Olga Panina, the Chairperson of the Russian Union of Mothers, told Interfax the public organization's committee would meet soon to discuss the FSKN situation and to send a petition to the state administration.

Meanwhile, State Duma deputy, former Federal Security Service Director Nikolai Kovalyov told the newspaper that the proposed disbandment of FSKN and FMS "was an absolutely logical and principled decision."

FSKN has become a detached entity competing against its colleagues, the Interior Ministry, the Federal Security Service, the Customs Service and others, he said. "We have paid a price for that rivalry. Some operatives opened inquiries into each other's activity rather than chasing criminals," the parliamentarian added.

The Interior Ministry and the Federal Migration Service have declined to comment and said that a decision about the future of any service is in the hands of the president, Kommersant said.

The Finance Ministry has a similar opinion, it noted.

"The issue lies beyond competences of the Finance Ministry. It is a competence of the president," a Finance Ministry spokesman told the newspaper.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

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