President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Krasnov, comrades,
Reliable protection of the rights and freedoms of our citizens and strengthening the rule of law are the fundamental prerequisites for Russia’s development as a law-based sovereign state. The Prosecutor's Office has a special role to play in ensuring these rights and freedoms.
Today, at the annual Board meeting, you will discuss the 2022 performance with account taken of the goals set out in the Address to the Federal Assembly, and we will then determine priorities for our future work.
Notably, this year marks the 300th anniversary of the Russian Prosecutor's Office, and you have accomplished a lot in the main areas of work. The rights of more than 1.1 million people who ran into injustice, violation of legal regulations and infringement of their legal rights were restored after the prosecutors intervened.
The important and much sought-after practice of the governor’s one-on-one meetings with members of the public has expanded, and, as before, the Prosecutor General oversaw the solution of the most important issues. Mr Krasnov, please continue this practice in the future.
The concentrated efforts of the prosecutors have reduced the number of inspections and unsubstantiated administrative interference in economic and business life. There are positive dynamics in fighting extremism and terrorism and combatting crime and corruption.
Prosecutors’ protection of the fundamental rights of military personnel, participants and veterans of the special military operation, as well as their families, is of particular importance.
This year, it is necessary to intensify our efforts in this area and to do everything to make them substantive and targeted. Please deal with each specific problem individually, and respond without delay to requests and complaints, if any. Participants in the special military operation must be provided with monetary and other types of allowances in a timely manner. They should be able to receive medical and social aid, as well as assistance in rehabilitation and employment promptly and in full as well. The families of our fallen comrades must have unfettered access to the necessary support. Please establish close cooperation with the federal, regional, and local authorities.
Furthermore, the Prosecutor General’s Office was one of the first government bodies to start creating its territorial structures in the DPR, the LPR, and the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions and to launch a mechanism for selecting and training personnel. As we all know, the situation in these regions remains complicated. Therefore, it is necessary to strengthen the local prosecution bodies by attracting experienced, determined employees that are capable of promptly rendering legal aid and effectively protecting the lawful interests of citizens. It is always necessary to rely on local personnel, people who have proved their integrity, high professionalism and devotion to our common Fatherland. There are plenty of such people there.
Speaking about the tasks for the upcoming period, I would like to note that the prosecution authorities should exercise special supervision over the issues of ensuring the labour and social rights of citizens.
You know that the state is carrying out large-scale programmes to facilitate employment. The adopted measures reduced the level of unemployment to 3.6 percent in the beginning of this year. This is the lowest figure for all the past decades. That said, your direct responsibility is to monitor the timely payment of wages and salaries in all sectors and industries of the economy, and to effectively use your powers in this respect.
Of course, it is important to consistently eliminate violations in the payment of pensions and social allowances, especially those sent to support the most vulnerable strata – elderly and low-income people, as well as families with many children. We must make these targeted instruments efficient at all levels.
At the previous board meeting, the senior officials of the Prosecutor General’s Office were instructed to create an oversight system for legal compliance in the implementation of measures to support people and the main social-oriented programmes. I would like to ask you to talk about this separately and to report on what you have done to address this task.
The Prosecutor’s Office must pay the most serious attention to protecting the rights of minors. I will talk about this separately. Some regions delayed due social payments. Not all bodies are duly resolving such an urgent and sensitive issue as providing housing to underage orphans. There have been cases when underage orphans received flats unfit for living. I would like to ask you to respond immediately to these unacceptable practices. Yes, the situation is difficult. It is linked with the economy in every region, and we are fully aware of this. Yet, some things are absolutely unacceptable, outrageous, to put it plainly. It is necessary to respond promptly to bureaucratic humiliation and direct violations of law.
I will also note that crimes against children and teenagers, unfortunately including grievous and especially grievous crimes, are not declining. Your job is to respond appropriately to this situation.
As I have already noted, in recent years, a real sanction aggression has been unleashed against our country. You are well aware of this. But the Russian economy, Russian businesses and entrepreneurs have been properly responding to all these challenges. And it is important that Russian prosecutors contribute to this large effort, within their authority, by helping to eliminate excessive administrative barriers, among other things. We have one response to every step taken by ill-wishers and adversaries – we must expand economic freedoms. But, of course, it must be done within legal boundaries. It is a delicate job, and I am asking you to set it up.
As you know, the Presidential Address included a proposal to go back to revising a number of criminal laws on so-called economic crimes. I am counting on substantive work and proposals from the Prosecutor General's Office. At the same time, it is important to uphold the legality of the criminal cases initiated and meet reasonable timeframes for investigation, and to show integrity when determining restrictive measures. This is your direct responsibility at the initial stage of criminal proceedings.
I expect more effort from you in such an important area as the fight against crime and corruption. The Prosecutor's Office is the main coordinator of law enforcement agencies in this work, and we need to continue doing it systematically and consistently.
Thanks to the measures taken over the past three years, the detection of crime, including grave and especially grave crimes, has increased, and it is necessary to strive to maintain this upward trend. Prosecutors must firmly and decisively fight bribery and various corruption schemes.
I would like to ask you to pay special attention to legal oversight in the defence industry – we must constantly keep these issues under review – first of all, the timely fulfillment of obligations to supply the necessary weapons, equipment, ammunition and gear for the needs of the special military operation. Please ensure the precise implementation of every contract under the state defence order, and the effective use of budget resources. We have allocated sufficient funds; this is a lot of money, but we are doing this very carefully so as not to drain finances from other industries, but the funds allocated must be spent rationally and in strict accordance with law. In addition, prosecutors should provide supervisory support for the modernisation of defence industry enterprises, including projects to build up their capacity to produce additional weapons. This work is being done on a grand scale. This is something we desperately need now and will use in the future; we are not doing anything excessive here, but what we are doing must be done very efficiently.
Our prosecutors must work more effectively against extremism, which is another important aspect of their work. As I said at a recent meeting of the Federal Security Service Board, the number of such crimes increased last year.
I ask you to respond more harshly to attempts to destabilise the social and political situation in the country.
Of course, we must not relax our attention to vital tasks of the prosecutor’s offices such as support for public prosecution in courts, environmental protection and supervision of respect for prisoners’ rights.
In conclusion, I would like to express gratitude to our prosecutors for their professional and responsible attitude to their duties.
I am confident that you will maintain the pace and quality of your work and will use all your powers to protect the rights and legitimate interests of our citizens, society and the state.
Thank you, and all the best.
Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, I will not go into detail on what the Prosecutor General has said in his substantive report. I will only point out some general issues I regard as important.
We face many important tasks, including at the prosecutor’s offices. When I say “we,” I mean the state, which is facing many tasks and many outstanding issues.
We are going through a phase of major positive change aimed at strengthening the country's sovereignty, independence and future, and at creating conditions for Russia's confident development.
Although we are going through a period or an age of change, we are working in conditions of a relatively well organised system and in a stable situation, in a business-like situation based on our people’s confidence. This confidence must be justified by the overall results of our work and also by our efforts to ensure justice, which is especially important for our society.
The role and importance of our prosecutor’s offices in this area is hard to overestimate. They have an extremely important role and great value in all areas of life. They have always been important, but doubly or even triply so now.
I pin my hopes on you.
Thank you very much. All the best.