President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends.
We are holding this meeting in the run-up to the 20th anniversary of the adoption of Russia’s Constitution. I will not lecture you – constitutional and legal scholars, researchers, and law professors – on the importance of this basic law for any society and any state, or on the importance of its stability and balanced quality. Any law, including every country’s fundamental law, always to some extent represents a compromise a given society has reached. But the Constitution’s unique quality consists in its aspiration to be the most stable of all adopted laws. This is despite the fact, as we are well aware, that every law becomes outdated not only as it is adopted, but even as it is being written. We very much hope that our basic law, our Constitution, was and will remain equally relevant at the time of its adoption, on its 20th anniversary and in the long-term.
The question is how can this be achieved? It can be achieved through the work of the Constitutional Court, whose practice interprets specific Constitutional provisions, establishes its links with real life, and adapts it to specific legal relations.
In this connection I would like to draw the attention of all of you here as well as the millions of people who will watch us in the media to the fact that your work plays a very significant role in ensuring the balanced quality of the Constitutional Court’s decisions. I proceed from the fact that it relies on, among other things, your ideas, analyses and research.
Naturally, we would very much like for basic constitutional provisions to become part of public consciousness and be perceived by society as an essential element of our country’s stable development.
State symbols, and the Constitution can be considered one of them, are extremely important. Incidentally, I want to inform you that yesterday I signed a related draft law and submitted it to the State Duma. It provides for the wider use of symbols such as the national flag and anthem. I presume that this wider visibility, at least in educational institutions, will contribute to fostering patriotism, especially among the younger generation. In addition, people listening to our national anthem and watching our flag being raised will not only perceive the symbols, but also experience patriotic feelings.
This is what I wanted to say by way of introduction. I’m looking forward to hearing you, your opinions on how the constitutional process is developing in Russia, and what we must do to ensure that the country feels confident and stable on the basis of this fundamental law.
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