Announcing the funding. Finance minister Alexi Kudrin said “The fight against terrorism requires a long-range perspective”. According to reports from the TASS news agency in Moscow, Russia’s main security agencies – the Federal Security Service, Interior Ministry, border guards service and Foreign Intelligence Service – will split an additional $US1.71 billion in funding.

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The Defense Ministry will receive an additional $US3.66 billion, Kudrin said. All up $US13.6 billion has been earmarked for national security and law enforcement in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Russia in 2005 – that’s a 20 per cent increase. Around $US68.5 million had already been tagged in next year’s budget for a new anti-terrorism program to increase security in public places, including Moscow’s subway.

Meanwhile President Putin has said a powerful central anti-terrorism agency similar to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security must be created in Russia.