Russian Border Services Marks 90th Anniversary - May, 2008

Russian Border Services Marks 90th Anniversary


May, 2008

Russian borderguards on Wednesday are marking the 90th anniversary of the founding of their service. On May 18, a decree by the Soviet Government established the main border protection department, to which officers of the former corps of Russia’s Border Watch transferred. Russia has the longest border in the world - more than 61,000 kilometers. The border service controlled by the Federal Security Service (FSB) is undergoing a new stage of development at present. By a decision of the Security Council in 2003, it transferred from the three-tier to two-tier management system comprising head office and regional departments. Two departments were set up in Lubyanka, Moscow -- the border deparment (land border) and coastguard -- which amass the main forces.

By the end of this year, the service in border troops will become fully professional. No conscripts were enlisted to the service since autumn 2006, and the last conscript will be discharged in the autumn of 2008. Simultaneously, the Russian border service has been implementing extensive events to develop the state border. It is carrying out the federal goal-oriented program "state border of the Russian Federation (2003-2010)." It is planned to finish the development of new stretches of the border, including with Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Baltic republics by 2011. Two hundred and sixteen facilities will be commissioned on the border with Kazakhstan by 2010, which has a length of 7,500 kilometers (or 33 percent of all Russia's land border). Russia is building modern infrastructure on the border. Borderguards are given state-of-the-art equipment, and means of communication and control.

Pilotless aircraft are added to their arsenal, which considerably eases work to control long stretches. More than 30 research and development projects are pursued within the framework of the program of armaments of Russia's border service in 2006-2015 and "the main guidelines for technical development of the border service for the period until 2015." Eleven thousand details, dozens of ships, boats and helicopters are daily on duty to protect Russia’s state border. Requirements to borderguards change over time. Depending on the place of service, border guards need to know the language of the neighboring state. Special task force units will be sent to the most dangerous areas beginning from 2010.

New uniforms have been designed for various climatic conditions. Last year, Russian border guards detained more than 6,200 border violators, and seized 520 million roubles of illegal goods, including 800 kilograms of narcotics. Russia's FSB coastguard service detained more than 400 vessels for poaching in the designated period, of which 12 Russian and six foreign ships were confiscated.

Source: http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2....2005&PageNum=0

In other news:

Rice Rebukes Russia Over Activities in Disputed Arctic Waters

Slicing of Arctic cake to begin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHe3Keib0SQ

By Janine Zacharia

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice criticized Russia's activities on the resource-rich Arctic shelf as ``not helpful'' and called for international laws governing the disputed waters to be obeyed. Rice made the comments today at the Hofdi House in the Icelandic capital, Reykjavik -- where President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev famously met in October 1986 to discuss arms control. A Russian mini-submarine planted a flag under the polar cap in August, a move Danish Science Minister Helge Sander at the time called a ``joke.'' Russia contends the underwater Lomonosov Ridge links Siberia to the Arctic seabed, evidence of which may allow the country to extend its territory under international law. Russia's government predicts the area may hold 10 billion tons of oil equivalent, as well as gold, nickel and diamonds. "I think we have to be concerned not just about the resources but about the resurgence of some activity that the Russians have been'' carrying out, Rice said alongside Icelandic Foreign Minister Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir. "We're quite aware of it. We speak to the Russians.'' Under the United Nations Law of the Sea convention, the countries on the Arctic Ocean have rights to economic zones within 200 miles of their shores. The UN will accept scientific data until 2014 and then decide on ownership of the parts of the Arctic claimed by Russia, the U.S., Canada, Norway and Denmark, through its semi-autonomous territory of Greenland. "We believe very strongly that international law needs to be respected here,'' Rice said. "This certainly shouldn't be an issue of conflict.''

Greenland Summit

Canada responded to Russia's flag-planting by saying it would move troops to its north to assert Arctic sovereignty. The five countries with Arctic shorelines will work for an "orderly settlement'' of their claims, their governments said in a joint declaration yesterday after concluding a two-day summit on the dispute in Ilulissat, Greenland. Rice's visit to Iceland followed the passage yesterday of a resolution by the country's parliament condemning the U.S. over the holding of terrorism suspects at the Guantanamo Bay naval base on Cuba. Rice defended the Guantanamo detention policy during the joint news conference with Gisladottir, who gave Rice a copy of the Icelandic resolution. "I strongly object to the notion that there are human rights violations at Guantanamo as is suggested in the resolution,'' Rice said. Rice said President George W. Bush would like to shut the Guantanamo prison, where the U.S. has sent terrorism suspects since January 2002, and is unable to because no adequate solution has been found for what to do with the detainees.

Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...I&refer=canada

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