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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

President Rethinks How FAPSI Will Be Split Up

President Vladimir Putin has changed his mind about giving the Defense Ministry a piece of FAPSI and has ordered instead that the disbanded state communications agency's functions be split between the Federal Security Service, the Foreign Intelligence Service and the Federal Guard Service.

Putin caught most of the security community off guard March 11 when he announced that FAPSI, or the Federal Agency for Government Communications and Information, would be disbanded and that its resources would divided between the Federal Security Service, or FSB, and the Defense Ministry. The ministry had been expected to take over communications lines maintained between the strategic commands of the armed forces.

In making the announcement, Putin also said he had signed a decree disbanding the Tax Police and the Federal Border Service. The Tax Police is to be swallowed by the Interior Ministry, while the border guards are to go to the FSB.

According to the presidential decree published in the official Rossiiskaya Gazeta newspaper on Tuesday, however, the Defense Ministry will get no part of FAPSI. The decree, which is dated March 11, says the FSB will share FAPSI's assets with the Foreign Intelligence Service and a new communications and information department within the Federal Guard Service.

In televised remarks on March 11 about the security reshuffle, Putin never mentioned plans to give any communications responsibilities to the Federal Guard Service, which provides security services to high-ranking politicians.

There was no information in the decree about what duties the communications and information department would have.

The presidential decree gives the heads of the agencies involved in the reshuffle until June to draft and present proposals on how the shake-up should be implemented. It postpones the disbanding of FAPSI and the Federal Border Service until July.

The decree also orders the government to draft amendments to federal laws regulating security and intelligence agencies to bring the laws in line with the planned changes.

Kommersant reported Wednesday that Putin did not have a decree ready to sign when he announced the reshuffle March 11. The newspaper said in a front-page article that the Kremlin's legal department was still drawing up papers regarding the shake-up as recently as last week.

Kommersant speculated that the FSB might be upgraded to ministry status because the presidential decree refers to the FSB director as "the head of a federal body of the executive branch of power responsible for security."