President Vladimir Putin: Mr Commissioner, dear colleagues, I would like to welcome to Moscow once again.
We met exactly one year ago. I know that since that time you have done major work. Essentially, this was thorough monitoring of the situation of human rights in Russia, which was completed with the preparation of a serious, thorough document on these issues. According to our evaluation, this is not just a voluminous document – in certain places it is sufficiently harsh document, but I believe that it is quite objective. I would like to assure you that we will pay attention to the conclusions made by you and your colleagues. And over the next two years we will work intensively not just on reacting, but on changing the situation in several areas of activity that you are involved in.
Constant monitoring of this work will be carried out by Ms Pamfilova, whom you know. I hope that the human rights ombudsman [in Russia] Mr Lukin will be also involved in the problems that we will deal with in connection with this report.
I have read this document with much attention. I am glad that you have also noted the progress achieved by Russia over the last 10–15 years. But I repeat, there are issues which we must pay particular attention to. In fact, a year ago, when we discussed these problems in considerable detail, you probably realized that we also approach these problems, which we believe still exist in our country, very critically.
We are very happy to see you. Welcome!
Alvaro Jil-Robles: Thank you very much, Mr President. I am very happy to be here once again. Indeed, exactly one year ago we met here, and talked about preparing this report. I would like to thank you for the assistance and all possible support which you and all the authorities of the Russian Federation gave us in preparing this document.
I remember very well that last time you asked me to prepare an objective report. We tried to make sure that this report really was objective. But, as in any report, and as in any country, Russia has positive aspects and it has problems which need to be worked on in order to fix them.
For me it was very important to prepare this document about the Russian Federation, which is a large European democracy. It was also important for me to prepare this report in the same way I do it for all other European countries that are members of the Council of Europe.
I wanted to present this report with recommendations which would be expressed in a constructive spirit and which could help the Russian Federation. We wrote this report thinking above all about the citizens of the Russian Federation and, of course, of the Government of the Russian Federation that will work on this report. Above all, we would like for the recommendations expressed in this report to become a positive factor for all citizens of the Russian Federation.
During my two days in Moscow, I have already had several meetings, and I received a very positive reaction from Government representatives, including the Justice Minister and the Interior Minister. And it was very pleasing to hear their initiative to prepare a reply to my report, a global reply to the recommendations expressed in it. I would very much like to receive this reply, because I think that it could help in work on implementing the recommendations.
Of course, Mr President, unresolved problems also remain, which we will continue to work on resolving.