MOSCOW, February 13 (RIA Novosti) - Vladimir
Lukin, tipped as Russia's human rights commissioner, has described
his future priorities as concern for children, especially the homeless,
orphans and children from problem families, and the rights of the disabled,
pensioners and women. He was speaking on Friday at a plenary meeting of
the State Duma. Lukin, recommended for this post by President Vladimir
Putin, is, according to observers, the most likely ombudsman of Russia.
The vote on his candidacy will take place in the State Duma on Friday.
Lukin, one of the founders of the Yabloko party and Russia's former
ambassador to the US, remarked that the 21st century belongs to those
countries that "are set not on power itself, but on concern for the
welfare of their citizens." The candidate highlighted the positive
experience of Sweden as a country with a developed democracy and high
He recalled that Sweden established early in the 19th century the institution
of the ombudsman. In Lukin's view, this provides evidence that the effectively
functioning institution of the human rights commissioner in the country
has a positive impact on the development of society in general.
"The history of many countries, including Russia, demonstrates
that the state is only strong, when it observes the interests not of a
narrow circle of people, but of all society in general," the candidate
"It is only in a democratic country that citizens can participate
in the day-to-day running of the state, and protect the country against
threats, including terrorism," he emphasized.
Lukin recalled that the rights of Russians are spelled out in the existing
constitution. But not all of them are observed, and "need protecting
throughout," he noted.
"Working in this sphere (as the human rights commissioner) appeals
to me," Lukin concluded.