Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree putting into force the third part of the Civil Code. The president described the adoption of the Civil Code's third part by parliament as a "landmark event in the formation of legislation regulating relations between citizens and the state" and an important stage in the formation of the entire range of Russia's civil legislation. Putin emphasised the social orientation of the Civil Code's third part. The 1964 regulations, which had remained in effect until now, created numerous ambiguities and did not meet present-day requirements. In particular, he said, former inheritance rules created grounds for red tape and abuse of power, as well as conflicts between relatives. Now the law allows citizens to freely dispose of their property. The range of citizens entitled to inheritance has been considerably broadened. Unlike previous years, when property in many cases could be turned over to the state, heirs' rights are now better protected, Putin said. The new law also protects the rights of "unconditional heirs"--minors, certain categories of dependants, and other non-working citizens. The adoption of the third part of the Civil Code is a landmark event also in terms of establishing the institution of private property in the country, the President said. People's natural desire to pass down what they have earned to their heirs is a powerful impetus to work harder. The big work done in preparing the third part of the Civil Code is a serious step towards ensuring human rights and strengthening the rule of law in the country, the President concluded.