© Vladimir Fedorenko / Sputnik
Lubyanka Square (Dzerzhinsky Square in 1926 through 1990). In the center -- the Felix Dzerzhinsky monument (sculptor Vuchetich). In the background -- the U.S.S.R. State Security Committee building.
Former head of the Russian presidential administration Sergey Ivanov says media reports about plans to merge all of the country's security agencies into one are untrue and most likely a hoax concocted by reporters to boost their popularity.

"I can say with all certainty - this is a classic example of an invented fake that was first launched and then discussed at length. This is what I call making news when they have no real news," Ivanov said in an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper when reporters asked him about the allegations made by popular business daily Kommersant in mid-September.

Back then, Kommersant predicted that before the presidential elections in 2018 Russia will get a new Ministry for State Security, or MGB - an agency uniting the currently independent Federal Security Committee (FSB), Federal Bodyguard Service (FSO) and Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR).

In addition, the authors of the alleged plan aim to merge the Prosecutor General's Office with the federal agency for especially important criminal cases - the Investigative Committee - and dissolve the Ministry for Emergency Situations, splitting its tasks between the Defense Ministry and the Interior Ministry.

Kommersant claimed that the report was based on hints from "multiple sources," but did not name any. At the time of the story, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov refused to confirm the allegations.

"This newspaper allegedly learned all this from some sources close to presidential administration. But you don't have to be smart to publish such things. You can simply add "according to reliable sources in the Kremlin" to anything - who can actually check this? What sort of sources are these?" Ivanov said in comments.

Ivanov was head of President Vladimir Putin's administration until he was relieved from the post at his own request weeks before Kommersant published the article about the Ministry of State Security plan. He currently works as presidential adviser for environmental issues.

Ivanov also told reporters that in his opinion there was no need in any new superstructures as the existing security and law enforcement agencies were performing well enough, and also because effective work of certain services demanded that they are separated from each other.

"Intelligence must be separate from counter-intelligence, the National Guard and Federal Bodyguard Service also have different tasks. I see no sense in uniting them all into one ministry, I only see potential harm. And I repeat - it was a fake," he said.

After the parliamentary elections in mid-September, Putin appointed former State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin as head of the SVR to replace Mikhail Fradkov, who occupied this post for the previous nine years.