Vladimir Putin Decides to Reorganise Security Agencies

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his intention to reorganise some government departments at a government meeting today. In accordance with presidential decrees, the Tax Police and the Federal Agency of Government Information have been abolished. The work of the Federal Border Service will now be the responsibility of the Federal Security Bureau (FSB).

Victor Cherkesov has been dismissed from his position as presidential plenipotentiary in the North-West Federal District and has been made head of the State Committee for the Prevention of the Illegal Circulation of Drugs. Valentina Matvienko has been dismissed as deputy prime minister and appointed new presidential plenipotentiary in the North-west Federal District.

Former head of the Federal Border Service Konstantin Totskoy has been appointed permanent representative of Russia to NATO. The new head of the Federal Border Service will be Deputy Director of the FSB Vladimir Pronichev.

Moreover, a state committee on arms supply is being formed within the Defense Ministry which will be headed by former director of the communications and information agency Vladimir Matiukhin.

Former head of the Tax Police Mikhail Fradkov has now been appointed presidential plenipotentiary to the EU with ministerial rank.

Valentina Matvienko was born on April 7, 1949, in Ukraine. In 1972 she graduated from the Leningrad Chemistry and Pharmaceutics Institute and in 1985 graduated from the Soviet Academy of Social Sciences. In 1991 she finished a course in diplomacy at the Interior Ministry Academy of Diplomacy.

1989-1991 - chairman of the committee on women's issues, family issues, childbearing and childhood of the Supreme Council.

1989-1992 - deputy of the Supreme Council

1991-1994 - Soviet and Russia's ambassador to Malta

1997-2003 - Russia's ambassador to Greece

1998-1999 - deputy prime minister under Yevgeni Primakov, Sergei Stepashin and Vladimir Putin

In May 2000 she kept her post of deputy prime minister in the new government.

She speaks German and English. Married, with a son.

Victor Cherkesov was born on July 13, 1950, in Leningrad. In 1975 he graduated from the law faculty of Leningrad State University. After graduating, he entered the Soviet Security Service (KGB) where he investigated anti-Soviet activity, espionage, and contraband activity.

1992-1998 - head of KGB department in Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Region.

On August 26, 1998, he was appointed deputy director of the FSB.

In May 2000 he was appointed presidential plenipotentiary in the North-West Federal District.

He is married with two daughters.