MOSCOW, April 14. /TASS/. The decision to set up the National Guard was primarily dictated by the need to place the turnover of arms in Russia under special control, President Vladimir Putin said during an annual televised Q&A session on Thursday.
Putin made this statement in reply to a question by a resident of the North Caucasian Republic of Dagestan about the reasons for creating the National Guard in the country.
"The first and, perhaps, the basic reason for this decision is the need to place the turnover of arms in the country under special control," Putin said.
"If you have noticed, this decision is not simply related to detaching the interior troops from the Interior Ministry. But this has been done so that this new structure will now concentrate all that is connected with firearms. This refers to various kinds of security provision and the authorization system [to get the right to possess firearms], ensure oversight of private security firms and this also refers to interior troops proper," Putin said.
"We expect that we’ll be able to raise the efficiency of this work and cut expenses on the maintenance of various services. This position was also actively advocated by the Finance Ministry," the Russian president said.
According to Putin, the decision to create the National Guard was also aimed at optimizing the Interior Ministry structure.
The National Guard subordination directly to the president has nothing to do with any mistrust for law enforcers, Putin said.
"It is not a matter of mistrust. The point is that the National Guard was set up as a separate federal body with the authority of a ministry, and all power ministries and departments report to the president," Putin said.
The issue of creating the National Guard "was discussed for long, on many occasions and from the viewpoint of various aspects," Putin said.
Putin announced the creation of the National Guard in reorganization of the Interior Ministry troops at a meeting held on April 5 with Interior Troops Commander Viktor Zolotov, Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev, Director of the Federal Drug Control Service Viktor Ivanov and First Deputy Head of the Federal Migration Service Yekaterina Yegorova.
Later the presidential decree on establishing the National Guard as a new federal service was published, after which a bill on the National Guard was submitted to Russia’s parliament.
Under the presidential decree, Viktor Zolotov has been appointed as the commander of Russia’s National Guard.