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Russia to spend around $7 billion on police reform in 2012-2013

Russia
(updated 18:26 28.10.2014)
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About 217 billion rubles ($7 billion) will be allocated from the Russian budget for police reforms in 2012-2013.

About 217 billion rubles ($7 billion) will be allocated from the Russian budget for police reforms in 2012-2013., Russian finance minister Alexei Kudrin said.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said in June that the large-scale reform would "require significant budget allocations."

"[Spending] 84.8 billion rubles [$2.7 billion] in 2012 and 132 billion rubles [$4.3 billion] in 2013 for interior ministry reform and increased allowances has been included [into the Russian budget]," he said.

Shortly before Medvedev endorsed the law in late 2009, Kudrin estimated the reforms would cost around 200 billion rubles ($6.5 billion at the current exchange rate).

During this period, public security departments are to be switched to federal funding, while police officers' salaries are to be increased by 30 percent.

The state of Russia's police has become a matter of considerable concern after a series of high-profile police scandals, including the random shooting of several people in a supermarket by an off-duty police officer in April 2009.

In response to growing criticism, Medvedev launched a large-scale reform of the police in December 2009, including cutting the number of policemen and increasing salaries.

The new police reform would also prohibit people from entering the police force if they are alcoholics, drug addicts, or have criminal records.

The draft law is being publicly discussed on a government website at www.zakonoproekt2010.ru.

MOSCOW, September 8 (RIA Novosti)