Circling the Lion's Den

Public Council at the FSB established

On 12 May, 2007 the FSBs Public Relations Center announced that the agency had created a Public Council, to be geared toward developing cooperation between security agencies and academic organizations and Russian citizens in providing national security, protecting the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens as well as the constitutional order.

The Councils Membership consists of 15 persons, including Vyacheslav Glazychev (Chairman of the Public Chamber Commission on Regional and Local Government), Anatoli Kucherena (Chairman of the Public Chamber Commission on Control over Law Enforcement Structures), Anatoli Torkunov, Vice-Chancellor of the Russian Foreign Ministrys Moscow State University of International Relations, a priest Alexander, rector of the Church ofSophiathe DivineWisdom at the Lubyankaheadquarters of the FSB.

FSB Director Nikolai Patrushev has welcomed the Councils creation, claiming that open dialogue with the public is important for all of us, since Russian citizens should be reassured that the principle of lawfulness, observance of rights, and peoples freedoms are among the basic principles underlying the activity of the special services. Patrushev said the task of the council is to provide co-operation between the FSB and NGOs, as well as Russian citizens.

In reality the Public Council has no power and was intended to be a purely consultative body, whose resolutions are to be advisory and non-binding. Apparently, the main task of the Public Council is to improve the image of the FSB, as was confirmed to Agentura.Ru by Andrei Przhedomsky, the member of the Council.

On May 17, 2007 Vasily Titov, the Deputy President of VTB bank, was named as head of the Public Council.

Agentura.Ru March 2011