Putin measures ‘concerns’ US


Secretary of State Colin Powell said Mr Putin was in effect pulling back from democratic reforms and said he wanted to discuss the measures with Moscow.

On Monday Mr Putin called for stronger central control of the regions and an overhaul of security services.

Russia has also pledged an extra $5bn to its security services.

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, who announced the move on Tuesday, said the fight against terror would be a top budget priority in 2005.

Two-thirds of the money will go to the Ministry of Defence.