The Russian President has urged leading senators to thoroughly study the events in Ukraine as well as other recent ‘color revolutions’ in order to protect the people from radicals and terrorists.
“We should doubtlessly conduct such analysis in order to protect our citizens from the arbitrary actions of various ultras, terrorist elements and people with extremist views,” Vladimir Putin said at the Thursday meeting with the leading members of the Upper House of Parliament.
The president, however, told the politicians that they should be extremely cautious when doing this. “We should not fall into any sort of euphoria and create the environment that would not be acceptable for the civil society and for protection of the citizens’ rights. The citizens must always understand that they have a set of lawful means and methods with which they could issue claims against the authorities, including rallies, meetings and marches,” Vladimir Putin said.
“No one should claim to be able to go beyond this framework, everyone should resort only to peaceful methods so that the authorities stop creating greenhouse conditions for themselves and hide behind the constantly enlarging repressive function,” he added.
“We must react to the events in the protest movement and information sphere but I call upon you not to use this occasion and make a lot of decisions that would significantly limit the civil freedom and the citizens’ right for expression,” the president said.
Putin’s statement was a reply to a suggestion by Senator Andrey Klishas to amend Russian law on rallies, and introduce criminal responsibility for violating it. The senator used the crisis in Ukraine where anti-government rallies turned violent and people were killed to justify his proposal.
At the same meeting the president asked the senators to speed up the work on bills on the accession of the Crimean Republic into the Russian Federation. He also asked Upper House MPs to accept senators from the two new federation subjects – Crimea and Sevastopol – into the Chamber Council of the Federation Council – the forum for important issues of regional and ethnic policies in the country.