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Kremlin denies reports on strengthening of Russia's Security Council

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The Kremlin chief of staff, Sergei Naryshkin, denied on Saturday reports that Russia's Security Council would be reformed and its powers increased.
ST. PETERSBURG, June 7 (RIA Novosti) - The Kremlin chief of staff, Sergei Naryshkin, denied on Saturday reports that Russia's Security Council would be reformed and its powers increased.

Reports in the Russian media on Friday said that a bill, supposedly to be submitted to the State Duma this fall, would give the Security Council the power to issue instructions to the government and to assume the functions of the presidential administration in personnel policy.

However, Naryshkin told journalists on Saturday: "No bill is being drafted. There is no overriding need [for the reform]." The official also called the Russian Security Council a "compact and efficient" mechanism.

Established in 1992, the Security Council is a consultative body of the Russian president that works out the president's decisions on national security affairs.

Composed of key ministers and agency heads and chaired by the president, who appoints its members, the Council holds weekly sessions on urgent domestic and foreign political issues.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev approved the composition of the Security Council of Russia in May, naming the former head of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), Nikolai Patrushev as its chief.

Gen. Yury Baluyevsky, the former chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, was appointed deputy secretary of Russia's Security Council earlier this week. (VIDEO)

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