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10 Aug, 2009 15:32

Medvedev proposes changes to defense laws

Changes to Russia's defense laws are on the cards, a year after the country sent in the army to defend South Ossetia when it was attacked.

President Medvedev has sent a bill to lawmakers to redefine the circumstances under which Russian troops can be used outside national territory, in accordance with international law.

They include rebuffing an attack on Russian servicemen deployed abroad, and preventing or repelling an assault on another state.

The Russian military would also be called in to protect its citizens living outside their home country, as well as other measures to crackdown on piracy.

According to Vladimir Kozin, an independent political analyst, Russia has no choice but to improve its defense legislation in situations where Tbilisi’s revenge is highly possible, or when sea piracy has risen to dangerous levels.

“The amount of military hardware being poured in Georgia is twice as much as before last year’s events,” Kozin said. “So we have to be vigilant and prepared for an extraordinary situation, which is imminent.”

He clarified that Russia does not have a specific clause in its national legislation that would empower the president and supreme commander to use the country’s military force operationally on short notice.

“That was the reason to amend Article 10 in the Defense Law, and a new article will probably appear in the Constitution of Russian Federation,” he added.