President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen,
I am delighted to welcome you at the Conference of Heads of Prosecutor’s Offices of European States in St Petersburg.
Despite the difference in your powers and the specifics of the national legislations, your offices are playing a major role in ensuring the priority of law in your countries, protecting civil rights and freedoms and the interests of the state and society. These basic goals and tasks not only unite you, but also highlight the importance of cooperation and meaningful professional partnership.
During the next few days, you will be discussing a broad range of topics related to the role of prosecutor’s offices in the protection of civil rights in accordance with the principles of the European Convention on Human Rights. I regard this as a matter of utmost significance. People and their rights and freedoms are the greatest value, and it is the duty of the state to create effective mechanisms for their unhindered implementation.
This fully concerns the social rights of citizens, including the right to affordable, high-quality medical services. This is especially important now in light of the coronavirus pandemic that spread throughout the world last year.
Other items on your agenda deserve serious attention as well. They include compliance with norms and requirements of environmental security, the fight against cybercrime and efforts against illegal migration. These are common challenges for all European countries, and the effectiveness of our response to them will largely determine social stability, law and order, and the sustainable development of our states and the European continent as a whole.
The Russian Prosecutor’s Office is working energetically in all these spheres. Acting as an integral centralised system, it is fulfilling all its tasks accurately and is contributing to the development of Russia as a truly law-based, socially oriented and democratic state. I would like to emphasise that these principles have been recently intensified and specified in the renewed Constitution of Russia and in the Russian legislation as a whole.
Acting within the framework of their supervisory authority, prosecutors are monitoring compliance with the law throughout Russia and taking measures to protect people’s rights in case of any violations. For example, during the pandemic, the prosecutor’s offices redoubled their efforts to monitor the timely provision of medical care, medicine and social payments and also benefits. While doing this, they pay special attention to the protection of the rights of children, senior citizens, people with disabilities, large families and low-income families.
I would like to point out specifically that we have recently adopted a federal law that granted new powers to the Prosecutor General’s Office of Russia. It has to do with representing and protecting the interests of Russia in interstate agencies, foreign and international courts, and foreign and international courts of arbitration, including the European Court of Human Rights.
I mentioned this before, but I would like to say it again: Russia is interested in developing the closest possible ties with the prosecutor’s offices of European and other states, and in promoting dialogue and cooperation within the framework of respected and influential agencies, such as the Council of Europe and the International Association of Prosecutors.
I am confident that such constructive interaction, including the exchange of information and the best legal practices, will help us to more reliably protect civil rights and freedoms and to succeed in the fight against common threats, including those that are connected with the rapid technological and other changes in our societies.
I hope that during this conference you will adopt recommendations that will help to enhance the efficiency of prosecutors’ offices.
I would like to wish you fruitful discussions and all the very best.
Thank you for your attention.