The RIA Novosti correspondent quotes Russian Justice Minister Yuri Chaika as emphasizing he is against capital punishment at a Saturday press conference after the talks with French Secretary of State for the Justice Ministry Property Program Pierre Bedier. Mr Chaika noted that the cruelty of punishment has no influence upon the crime rate.
"The first principle to be employed here is the one of the inevitability of punishment," the Russian Minister said. He recalled Russia had suspended the death penalty execution, replacing it with life imprisonment terms. Mr Chaika said it was the State Duma who would finally make a decision whether capital punishment should be abolished or not. The Russian Parliament's Lower House has a Council of Europe protocol on the aforesaid abolishment for its ratification.
Answering reporters' questions on the interaction with the French Justice Ministry, Yuri Chaika stated the inter-departmental cooperation was developing successfully in the spheres of legal profession and real estate, as well as the legal protection of intellectual property.
In his turn, Pierre Bedier noted that Russian and French bodies of justice are going to keep cooperating in the legal and court fields. Mr Bedier stressed the two countries are to exchange justice expert groups who will be engaged in working out a bilateral cooperation program.
French Secretary of State for the Justice Ministry Property Program Pierre Bedier is in Moscow on an invitation by the Russian Justice Ministry. He is going to take part in the celebrations devoted to the 200th anniversary of Russia's justice department. According to Mr Chaika, representatives from 16 states have participated in the jubilee festivities.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969