Is Fedotov Staying as Head of the Presidential Council?

Source: (info), 28/05/12

· Human rights defenders

Mikhail Fedotov, chair of the Presidential Council on Human Rights under President Medvedev, has told Kommersant he is staying on as its head.

“My reappointment as adviser to the President presupposes that I will retain the post of chair of the Presidential Council on Human Rights,” Fedotov explained to Kommersant. Moreover, Fedotov intends to retain the former members of the Council with practically no changes.

As has reported, Irina Yasina and Svetlana Sorokina have already left the Presidential Council and Svetlana Gannushkina, Dmitry Oreshkin and Elena Panfilova have also spoken of their intention to leave. Nevertheless, Fedotov hopes to preserve the membership of the Council with minimal changes. “I asked them to think about whether they will stay on the Council or will find other ways to work with it,” he said about the three members of the council who were expressing their intention to leave.

Chair of the Civil Assistance Committee, Svetlana Gannushkina and director of the Russian office of Transparency International, Elena Panfilova told Kommersant that, most likely, they will stay in the Council in the capacity of experts, but political scientist, Dmitry Oreshkin, is “prepared to help” the Council, but does not plan to remain a member.

On Saturday, Fedotov was appointed an advisor to President Vladimir Putin. Fedotov headed the Council on Human Rights and Civil Society under President Medvedev, and at the same time was a presidential advisor. This status allows direct contact with the head of the state. The candidature of Olga Kostina, a member of the Public Chamber, for the post of chair of the Council under the new president had been discussed.

On Wednesday, Putin said that Fedotov should appeal to him directly with requests and not do so via the media. In this way Putin was commenting on Fedotov’s statement that the Council he heads was planning to ask the President to veto the new law on rallies.

Besides Fedotov, others appointed as presidential advisors are: special representative on the question of climate, Aleksandr Bedritsky; former deputy chair of the board of Gasprom, Sergei Ushakov; former head of the Federal Agency for Control of Technology & Exports, Sergei Grigorov; and former Minister of Justice of the USSR, Veniamin Yakovlev. Previously former head of the Ministry of Transport, Igor Levitin, was appointed an advisor to Putin, and other former ministers received posts as presidential aides.