RUSSIA BOOSTS SECRET SERVICE GRANTS: KUDRIN

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MOSCOW, September 19 (RIA Novosti) - Allocations to the Federal Security Service, or FSB, increased threefold within the preceding four years, said Alexei Kudrin, Finance Minister, while addressing the public in a midday NTV live cast.

"I am going now to quote figures I have never mentioned. FSB financing grew threefold from 2000 into last year."

Allocations to the Interior Ministry grew 2.5-fold within the same time, and to border guards doubled, he added.

"It takes far longer than a year to set up a strong security network. We got down to the job a mere four years ago," pointed out the minister.

Mr. Kudrin is sure this fall will not see any banking crises and defaults. Current arrangements for budget planning plus a sizeable stabilization fund offer sufficient guarantees. "Our stabilization fund has insured us against the 1998 drama [with a sweeping banking crisis] re-enacted," he stressed.

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