President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Colleagues,
We have to consider an issue of relevance to both international law and our national interests. I refer to the ratification of the so-called Protocol No. 14 to the [European] Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. I have repeatedly discussed this matter with my foreign colleagues.
This document is quite important. It was offered for signature in 2004. Its goal was to increase the efficacy of the European Court of Human Rights due to an increase in complaints filed with that court. No doubt, as a responsible party to the Convention and all European processes, Russia also deems it necessary to further improve the performance of this institution, as it is a very important institution. However, our country is the only one that has not ratified this Protocol, and hence it has not come into effect. The reason for this is a range of collisions which we have been discussing quite actively with our partners over the course of several years.
On September 23, 2009 the State Duma passed a statement explaining the causes preventing the Protocol ratification and listed ways to resolve the problem. Subsequently, relevant consultations were held and certain solutions found. I cannot say that all of these solutions are absolutely universal, but in any case, they were reflected in official clarifications by the Secretariat of the European Court [of Human Rights] issued this November, and in a consensus resolution by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers in mid-December.
Thus, there has been some convergence of our positions. I think that today we can discuss the degree to which Russia’s requirements were met, how significant this convergence was and whether it may now allow applying relevant international judgements in our country. If following the consultations among such agencies involved with the matter as the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Presidential Executive Office we conclude that the solutions offered are generally acceptable, then I will request the State Duma to once more review this document and specifically the amendments in the interpretation thereof.
This is the topic for today’s meeting. I think that we will now share our views, and if we come to some specific conclusions, we can act accordingly.