Ella Pamfilova at “Radio Rossii”
The G8 summit is to be open tomorrow in St Petersburg. According to foreign analysts and local opponents, it will be uncomfortable for Russia, for the first time presiding the G8 to discuss such issues as the relations between the authorities and NGOs.
Recently Vladimir Putin attended the NGO Forum in Moscow. He answered the questions of NGOs, in particular, “uncomfortable” questions. What does Ella Pamfilova the Chair of the Civil Society Institutions and Human Rights Council under the President of the Russian Federation think about the relations between the authorities and the Third Sector”?
First, we should get rid of the complex of inferiority. What does it mean – uncomfortable? During a long period we were deprived of independence and real sovereignty. Another countries were using us a resource of raw materials and we were gazing at the West thinking there is a democracy there and everything is fine.
But everything is not ideal there as it turned to be. And those who tried to teach us economy and other spheres caused us an enormous damage. And now we witness the period when Russia starts to understand its role and importance, to assume again its dignity and self-respect. Of course, we all are very critical towards the authorities about the human rights, the corruption, lack of culture etc. And it will take a long time – to build a country with a strong society and developed civil institutions.
I think Vladimir Putin was right when he said: We are ready to discuss ALL issues because we know the situation in ALL spheres. But we are ready to discuss them as partners not as a younger brother. At the same time I want to stress once again: we have numerous problems in relationship with the authorities.
All our colleagues from Russian NGOs during the Forum raised the issues interesting for G8 and other states. It is clear that we have common problems in all countries. As to the human rights issues, it is actual for all states. And there are many critics about the prisoners rights – in Guantanamo, Abu-Grade, CIA prisons, etc.
During the International NGO Forum we were more than 600 participants from abroad, the representatives of global networks etc. And it is very illogical to say that such networks as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch or Greenpeace are loyal to the Russian authorities. They are independent organizations – independent from the governments and from the sponsors. And they don’t teach us. They don’t need. And it is impossible to do it immediately – to change people and the society. Besides, we don’t need it.