Alexey Pushkov comments on amendments to the Constitution

Article 79 with new amendments is often regarded by the West as affirming the priority of the Russian law over international law.

Alexey Pushkov comments on amendments to the Constitution

It is no accident that the Venice Commission (an advisory expert body under the Council of Europe) recommended repealing or at least changing amendments to Article 79 of the Constitution, which in a new way set priorities between the Russian Constitution and decisions of international organizations in which Russia is involved.

This question has a background. Having included Russia in the Council of Europe in 1996, the West proceeded not only from the fact that Russia would follow the principles and norms arising from the convention we signed, but also hoped that it could easily impose on us its interpretation of these norms and our obligations under this convention.

That is why amendments to the Constitution raise concerns in the West about the strengthening of the independence and sovereignty of Russia’s foreign and domestic policies. They realized that after the adoption in Russia of the amendment to Article 79, it would not be possible to impose its interpretations on us. It is important to clarify: we do not refuse to comply with the decisions of the ECHR and the commitments made by Russia when joining the Council of Europe. But we enshrine in the Constitution the right not to carry out interpretations of our obligations that are contrary to our Constitution.

This is insurance for us, so that we do not become hostages of international institutions, as well as bias on the part of the ECHR and the Council of Europe, where the vast majority of states refers to or focuses on the Western alliance.

Alexey Pushkov


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