The meeting took place following Louise Arbour's five-day trip to the northern Caucasus during which she visited the Chechen Republic, Ingushetia and Northern Ossetia.
From the Russian side Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Chairwoman of the Presidential Council for Facilitating the Development of Civil Society Institutions and Human Rights Ella Pamfilova also took part in the meeting.
Vladimir Putin confirmed that Russia is ready for international cooperation in defending human rights.
The Russian head of state declared that he would like to exchange opinions with the UN High Commissioner on the human rights regarding situation in the regions she visited during her time in Russia and also on the human rights situation in the world.
As Ella Pamfilova reported following the meeting, during the meeting with Vladimir Putin Louise Arbour expressed her concern about the current state of Russian law enforcement system and the rights of people who get involved in one way or another with the law enforcement agencies. As the Chairwoman of the Presidential Council for Facilitating the Development of Civil Society Institutions and Human Rights Ella Pamfilova pointed out, the Russian head of state frankly admitted that this problem exists, particularly in the Northern Caucasus.
The President confirmed that Russia is open to further close cooperation and joint work with the UN and is ready to put into practice Louise Arbour's recommendations, including those concerning the situation in the northern Caucasus. In particular, the Russian head of state personally ensured that the UN High Commissioner had the opportunity to see everything she would like to see and to meet with everyone she would deem necessary.
In turn, Louise Arbour thanked Vladimir Putin for the special offer to visit the northern Caucasus and talked about the results of her trip to the Chechen Republic, Ingushetia and Northern Ossetia. The Russian head of state and the UN High Commissioner discussed the issues concerning security in the northern Caucasus and forming a legal basis in the Chechen Republic.
Ella Pamfilova, who accompanied Louise Arbour on her trip through the northern Caucasus, quoted the UN High Commissioner as saying that visiting Beslan left her with one of the strongest impressions of her life.
According to the Chairwoman of the Presidential Council for Facilitating the Development of Civil Society Institutions and Human Rights, Ella Pamfilova, the UN High Commissioner expressed her satisfaction concerning the President's instructions to resolve by the end of the year the problem concerning the return of refugees to the Prigorodny District of Northern Ossetia.
Ella Pamfilova also said that the situation of non-governmental organizations in Russia and the problem of hazing in the military were among the topics discussed at the meeting.
The Russian President and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights are meeting for the second time. They already met in Moscow on 10 February 2005.