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Medvedev instructs more work on controversial FSB powers amendment

RIA Novosti

20:13 19/08/2010

PYATIGORSK, August 19 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev instructed the head of the Federal Security Service (FSB) on Thursday to make sure that the recently adopted amendments expanding FSB powers contain clear definitions.

The new amendment allows the main Russian domestic security agency to take "preventive measures" such as official warnings and fines against individuals whose activities could be considered extremist or lead to a crime. The amendment gives the FSB the right to give an official warning within ten days after receiving information that an act may carry with it criminal aspects or lead to an actual crime.

Alexander Bortnikov was instructed to include "a definition of grounds" for introducing the warning into the document which establishes the official procedure of making the warning, the Kremlin said in a statement, posted on its official website.

The document, which is currently being drawn up by the FSB, should also clearly define actions which may lead to a crime.

The initial proposal was voiced during Medvedev's meeting with the editors-in-chief of leading Russian media held this July.

"The heads of the media expressed concern over the lack of clear definitions [in the amendments]," the Kremlin press service said.

The amendment, approved by Medvedev on July 29, fueled fears among the opposition on the possible revival of Soviet-era practices.

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