President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Yury Yakovlevich, I want to start by congratulating all the employees of the Prosecutor’s Office of course. Please pass on my best wishes to everyone working in the Prosecutor’s Office, everyone involved in the difficult work of upholding the law in our country. I hope that through our combined efforts we will be able to raise the public prosecution offices’ prestige to the highest degree, because it has very important missions to fulfil – the missions of maintaining law and order and strengthening the foundations of the constitutional system. In this respect we will do everything we can to ensure that the Prosecutor’s Office occupies a worthy place in the state power system.
Prosecutor General Yury Chaika: Thank you very much.
Dmitry Medvedev: We met before the New Year and we agreed on how to change working procedures a little to take into account the current situation, and also with respect to the prosecution offices’ special powers to protect citizens’ interests.
I want to inform you that I have just sent to the State Duma a draft law amending article 45 of the Civil Procedural Code in the area that we discussed. The amendment will institute special rules for prosecutors’ declarations filed in protection of citizens’ social rights. This concerns the right to employment, pension provisions, health protection, motherhood and childhood, medical assistance, education, environmental protection, and the right to state and municipal housing. In essence, this confers new powers on the prosecutors – powers they will use to protect ordinary people’s interests. I think this is very important, perhaps particularly important now when tension on the financial markets is creating problems for ordinary families.
Yury Chaika: Dmitry Anatolyevich, thank you very much for your support and understanding. The Russian Prosecutor’s Office has been a reliable pillar of support for the Russian state for 287 years now. We are proud of this and we strive with honour to carry out our responsibilities. These responsibilities are above all to protect our citizens’ rights and lawful interests, ensure legal order and ensure that the ministries, agencies and officials apply the law.
One of our principal missions today is unquestionably to fight corruption, extremism and terrorism. We are also working to effectively fulfil our other missions. I must note that we have everything we need to do this – staff of a high professional standard, an understanding of the problems we face, a high level of intellectual potential, the state-minded thinking of our employees, international influence, and above all, your support. Your support makes it possible for us to carry out effective and quality legal work to protect our citizens’ interests, above all the interests of those with little protection, the poor, disabled people, pensioners, who face violation of their rights.
Dmitry Medvedev: Please pass on my best wishes and my congratulations to your colleagues.
I hope that this draft law I have submitted to the State Duma will be passed and will serve to protect Russian citizens’ interests in the areas of greatest importance to them.
Yury Chaika: Dmitry Anatolyevich, you are absolutely right. I will give just one figure.
Over the nine months of 2008, we redressed violations, above all in the social sphere, of the rights of more than 1 million people. This law will make it possible for us to be more effective and ensure greater quality in our work to prevent violations of the law and to redress the situation in cases where violations have already occurred.