Russian parliament to propose new counter-terrorism measures

MOSCOW: Russian parliament will on Friday propose tougher punishment for terrorists and discuss introducing a raft of new security measures at a rare meeting of both chambers of parliament, Russian news agencies reported, citing a draft law.

The move is a response to Kremlin confirmation that a bomb downed a Russian passenger plane over Egypt last month, killing all 224 people on board, and follows the Paris attacks in which Islamist extremists killed at least 129 people.

Russia stepped up its air strikes against Islamist militants in Syria after concluding the plane had been blown up, but lawmakers say they want to ensure President Vladimir Putin knows he has their full support if he decides to go further.

One senior lawmaker said he would be suggesting parliament consider bringing back the death penalty for terrorists and their accomplices. It was unclear if such a measure would find wide support.

The Interfax news agency reported said the Federation Council, the upper house of parliament, and the Duma, the lower house, would propose broadly tougher criminal sentences for terrorists and those charged with aiding or financing attacks.

New security measures to beef up safety at public events and on public transport would also be discussed, it said, along with possible steps to tighten Russia's migration policy.

"A reliable barrier at the borders of the state should be introduced against extremists getting into Russia," Interfax quoted a draft resolution as saying.

The Federation Council and the Duma were not available for immediate comment.