President Dmitry Medvedev: Dear Colleagues!
I would like to congratulate you on the completion of the spring session. As always, you have been very busy. According to the information that I received you considered 534 bills, which were translated into 167 laws, including three constitutional laws. Given those numbers and the quality of the laws passed, I think that our State Duma has achieved a lot.
There are a couple of things I would like to single out as we begin our discussions. Naturally we will be talking about other issues as well.
First, concerning the laws that were adopted: these are important laws, budgetary legislation, tax laws, and legislation designed to support those caring for disabled citizens. I think that all this work is estimable and we will continue improving legislation in this area. In addition, you worked on improving the judicial system, humanising the penal system and on a number of other issues related to criminal procedure and penal correction [systems].
In this regard, not so long ago I met with Gennady Andreyevich [Zyuganov], and Vladimir Volfovich [Zhirinovsky], and I have also discussed this topic with other colleagues. We have very important work to do to improve legislation aimed at fighting against corruption. We are currently preparing a national plan that is very close to completion. There are still several wrinkles to be ironed out. I will be signing it in the very near future.
And I hope that we will start working at the start of the autumn session on the implementation of this plan, because it will involve the preparation of a very significant number of bills. A very significant number of bills in various areas because, as everybody knows, corruption is very serious evil. It cannot be stamped out using only one kind of legal measure or procedure. We must create a whole package of bills that focuses on economic issues, status issues, and issues of public service. I hope that we can accomplish all this by the end of this year, and then we will be able to enter the new year with modern, high-quality legislation for fighting against corruption.
At the same time, of course we will be dealing with other issues as well. I am referring to the issue of state governance and administrative law, as I think that this area has always been and still is very important.
Another theme for today's conversation is the issue of strengthening parliamentary factions. I think this topic is particularly relevant today, including work on committees and in other formats in the State Duma. At the same time I would also like to point out that not so long ago there was an amendment to the law on political parties in order to increase funding. This is essentially what we talked about with your colleagues some time ago. I’m sure that this is a modern, useful and effective way of strengthening the parliamentary parties. Let's talk about how this rule will work. Maybe there is something that needs to be done in this area.
I think the discussion of these and other questions involving legislation should be wide open and freewheeling. Let's get started and we can continue the discussion during our informal talks.
Colleagues, please go ahead.