Russia-EU dialogue on human rights
Distinguished members of the Federal Assembly,
Distinguished representatives of the diplomatic corps,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all I would like to thank the State Duma Committee on International Affairs for having invited me to participate in this hearing. The idea of holding this hearing is quite useful in itself and is in line with the logic of our relations with the European Union. Human rights do not belong exclusively to the internal affairs of States. They are a matter of legitimate concern to all countries. This principle is enshrined in the documents of the OSCE of which all EU Member States and Russia are participants. (By the way, this principle was adopted at an CSCE conference in Moscow in 1991.)
In my statement I would like to focus on our dialogue with the EU in the field of human rights and to outline a number of problems arising in it.