President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Secretary General, colleagues,
I would like to welcome you all to Moscow.
I believe we met last in December 2016, and I know well your position on Russia’s full cooperation with the Council of Europe. We appreciate and share this position, of course. As I see it, we will discuss this issue today.
I know you have a large itinerary in Russia this time, including the FIFA World Cup matches. I hope you will not be disappointed.
Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland (English transcript): Thank you very much, Mr President, and thank you indeed for accepting to have this meeting at a crucial point for our organisation and, I would say, for Europe as a whole.
Congratulations for your re-election, which was indeed very impressive. Congratulations for the very successful world championship. Actually, we had a dinner with some friends in Moscow yesterday but we were half watching the football game between Egypt and Russia. All of us were very happy that you won, so congratulations on that as well.
Twenty years have passed since the Russian Federation acceded the European Convention of Human Rights; and we have done a lot of good things together. It has been very important for Europe and for us as an organisation that you decided to join the convention, and I think it has been important for the Russian Federation and for the Russian people.
There is always a lot of focus on the European Court, and for all of the member countries there are judgments that they dislike, but, all in all, I would say that the justice of the court has been very important for all of the member states.
We have here a small brochure, which shows how the court has influenced, in a positive way, many ways of life in the Russian Federation. This is, actually, the meaning of the court: to help its member states come closer together by adopting laws that are in conformity with the Convention. So again, thank you for all these twenty years and thank you for your strong commitment to the Council of Europe. We will come back to some problems later on.