PARIS, February 28. /TASS/. The Council of Europe (CoE) considers it essential to cooperate with Russia in terms of ensuring human rights and democracy, the CoE’s Secretary General Marija Pejcinovic Buric stated in a letter sent to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on occasion of the 25th anniversary of the country’s accession to the CoE.
"During that time, Russia has ratified nearly 70 Conventions and Protocols. These include the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Social Charter, which are the foundation of human rights in Europe today," she noted. "Within our pan-European family, the Russian Federation has a vital role to play as one of 47 countries working together to address the ongoing, evolving, and new challenges that confront human rights, democracy, and the rule of law within our common legal area," the CoE’s Secretary General said.
Pejcinovic Buric also stated that Russians, like all other European citizens, had the ultimate right of appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. She noted some positive changes brought about by the execution of judgments in Russia including improved prison conditions, the protection of property rights, and new legal safeguards for military servicemen.
The CoE’s Secretary General recalled that the Council of Europe was founded in 1949 and it had sought to ensure peace on the basis of greater unity. "The addition of the Russian Federation 25 years ago was a welcome development in that quest," Pejcinovic Buric said. According to her, it is in common interests to make further progress in this direction. "I have no doubt about our potential to do that, together, in the years to come," the CoE’s Head stated, congratulating Russia on its 25th anniversary as a Council of Europe member state.
Back on February 28, 1996 in Strasbourg, former Russia’s top diplomat Evgeny Primakov and former CoE’s Secretary General Daniel Tarshis signed documents on Russia’s accession to Europe’s oldest intergovernmental organization. Russia is engaged in the work of the Council of Ministers, the Parliamentary Assembly and other bodies of the CoE.