President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, Mr Secretary General, colleagues. I am very happy to see you again.
Russia has been a member of the Council of Europe, a representative and multifunctional international organisation, for 20 years already. Over this period, we have joined 60 treaties and protocols.
I know that you have an extensive and busy schedule in Russia. You have already met with the Foreign Minister, with State Duma Speaker Volodin, and there are more meetings planned.
I wish you a productive time in Moscow.
Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland: Thank you very much, Mr President. It is a great honour and pleasure to meet with you again. As you referred to the 20th anniversary of the Russian Federation’s membership in the Council of Europe, I think that it has been important for the whole of Europe. We have accomplished a lot together. A new penal code came in place and a civil code came in place in the Russian Federation. Huge efforts have been made in the penitentiary system, and many other good things.
I think that the work of the Council of Europe is very important not only for the Russian Federation but for the whole of Europe today also. The convention system is what unites us in a judicial and binding way. Many of the activities that we are doing today, for instance, we are paying much more attention to the standards in the Social Charter which is indeed very important for Europe today. And also the legal binding instruments that we have in the field of sports are also incredibly important in order to safeguard the integrity of sports.