Extraterritorial restrictions on Russian business imposed by Western companies are a direct violation of international law, Dmitry Medvedev told that to International Legal Forum which opened in St. Petersburg today. Following a discussion with international colleagues the prime minister visited St. Petersburg's subway, where he was shown Novokrestovskaya, a station under construction, which is scheduled to open on City Day, May 27th.
Salima Zarif reports from our Northern Capital.
Flags adorning the Palace Square are a sure sign of the five days during which St. Petersburg annually becomes the legal capital of the world. While 700 people took part in the first Forum, more than 4,000 attend its current, 8th iteration — the legal elite from 80 countries, including judges, lawyers, notaries, and legal department heads of major global companies. Of course, there's no escape from politics. Dmitry Medvedev says that trust in law has been undermined.
Dmitry Medvedev: «We increasingly see unfounded exterritorial restrictions which are based on deliberately falsified evidence, on so-called „fake news“, invented stories that pretend to be authentic. Businesses are blacklisted without any legal process whatsoever. The reason is quite trivial and not even political — they're mostly attempts to sideline competitors masked by a massive information attack».
Medvedev cites the doping scandal and stresses that a basic legal dogma, the presumption of innocence, has been trampled upon. A separate session of the Legal Forum is dedicated to the subject of «fake news.» Michael Swainston, a lawyer who represents Russia in international courts, encounters fabricated evidence all the time. For example, this is a photo that, as claimed by Georgia, proves that Russia fired Iskander missiles at the town of Gori in 2008.
Michael Swainston: «So if it had hit the building, it would have gone through the whole structure and buried itself in the basement. There's no way it could have crossed the room and landed on the sofa, as international mass media would want us to believe».
The Prime Minister's short working trip has one more stop: a new St. Petersburg metro station. Novokrestovskaya has been built for the World Cup, next to a stadium. This station has no equals in Russia. It's the first one to have been built on reclaimed land. It's hard to imagine that, but just a short four years ago it was under water in the Gulf of Finland. This mural is the only reminder of that. The three-mile-long tunnel was bored in challenging hydrogeological conditions.
Dmitry Medvedev: We've never had such metro a before — on reclaimed land, with those two tunnels, it's certainly an absolutely unique construction achievement.
— Did you like this station?
— I haven't viewed it yet — I'm looking at you, but I think it's very beautiful.
The station has been designed to handle heavy passenger traffic: 30,000 riders per hour. It should not get overcrowded ahead of the World Cup games. Novokrestovskaya will be inaugurated on May 27 — City Day.
Salima Zarif, Yevgeny Kostin, Stanislav Petrov, Yevgeny Tarasov, Irina Vinogradova and Irina Kharlamova reporting for Vesti from St. Petersburg.