President Vladimir Putin: Dear Valery Dmitrievich (talking to Mr. Zor’kin), dear colleagues, good day.
I would like to congratulate you on this holiday – Constitution Day. The Constitution was passed in a difficult, a very difficult period of our statehood, and the Court was formed as the main keeper, protector and interpreter of out country’s Constitution.
And today, I would like to note that the Court has not only justified the purpose for which it was created, it has won great authority and done major work, work that is important and very necessary for our country. To a considerable decree, thanks to our efforts it has been possible to restore a common legal space for our country. Of course, all state bodies have taken part in this work – the prosecutor’s office, the Justice Ministry, and our colleagues in the regions of the Russian Federation. But, without any doubt, the key role – at any rate, the key role from the legal and intellectual standpoint – was of course played by the Constitution Court. In the practical activity of all the other bodies of executive and representative power, both in the centre and in the regions, a great deal depended on your position and your interpretation of the individual statues of the Constitution
I would also like to note your principled position on fundamental issues. In my opinion, this is very important for the country, for law and statehood.
I remember that I talked a great deal with the former head of the Court on this issue, and I always liked your position, which was based on the firmness of the fundamental principles of the Constitution. Without any wavering or unnecessary political considerations. This is extremely important for the country and for the stability of the state.
Your work in responding to citizens’ complaints has also been no less important. At any rate, citizens now know that there is a higher court capable of protecting their legal rights and interests, and in all areas of the law – in the criminal process and in civic law relations. All this creates an enormous body of daily work for you. I would like to thank you sincerely for this, and congratulate you all once more on this holiday, Constitution Day.
Valery Zor’Kin: Dear Mr. President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Vladimirovich.
We also congratulate you on Constitution Day, because it is a common holiday for us. The day is a holiday, but this is does not mean that all other days are unconstitutional. I think that at last in Russia, we live by the Constitution not just for one day, as was the case in the past, when the Constitution lay on the shelf, and the country lived by other rules.
And this is the virtue of democratic Russia: the Constitution should provide, and does provide, the parameters and main framework of our life, the stability and dynamism of life. And here, of course, the role of all authorities is important, and the Constitutional Court has the role of a legal controller, which provides stability and dynamics.
The Constitution is difficult to change, but this does not mean that it is unchanging. An 18-year-old boy and a 40-year-old man are the same person, but also a changing entity, and our Constitution is like this too. It develops its own substance <…>.
Vladimir Putin: You have just said that the Constitution is, figuratively speaking, a living, legal organism. And to avoid any misunderstanding, I would like to explain that this concerns the work of the Constitutional Court as the interpreter of individual statues of the Constitution. This does not mean that we intend to somehow change or amend the Constitution. This is not a task that lies before us and we have no plans to do this.