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MOSCOW, December 19. /ITAR-TASS/. An Act of Amnesty declared by the Russian State Duma on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution is not linked to Greenpeace activists or the Pussy Riot female punk group, Russian President Vladimir Putin told the annual news conference in Moscow on Thursday.
“It (the amnesty) has got nothing to do with Greenpeace or this punk group (Pussy Riot). First of all, it was not my decision as I mentioned earlier. The decision was made by the Russian State Duma. Second, the decision was prompted by the need to humanize our criminal policy and was also timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution,” the Russian head of state said.
Putin said he was sorry for the Pussy Riot participants. “Not because they are in prison but because they took part in a disgraceful action, which humiliates the dignity of any woman,” the president stressed.
Asked whether he thought that the verdict passed on Pussy Riot and criminal charges against the Greenpeace activists were excessively tough, Putin replied that an amnesty did not mean acquittal or annulment of a court sentence.