OCTOBER 13—18, 2014
Moscow, Russia

Russian Deputy Minister of Healthcare Dmitry Kostennikov attended the briefing on the results of the sixth session of the Conference of the Parties to the WHO FCTC

The State Secretary, Russian Deputy Minister of Healthcare Dmitry Kostennikov attended the briefing on the results of the sixth session of the Conference of the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control

“The Conference offers a number of important tools that may be mandatory or advisory for the countries”- stated  the State Secretary, Deputy Minister of Healthcare. «Decisions taken at the Conference in no way violate the sovereignty of countries in the way they work out actions to implement decisions of the Conference into national legislations and turn them into national policies. Every country is entitled to decide how to implement these recommendations” – noted Dmitry Kostennikov.

He also emphasized that “Russia fully supports the decisions of the Conference as to its assessment of the role of tobacco industry and tobacco companies that counteract the activities of the countries to reduce tobacco smoking". “We suppose, countries must combat any attempts of tobacco companies to impose new products containing nicotine on our citizens, we must prevent forming of new consumption habits pertaining to these products”, - said Dmitry Kostennikov. In his view this topic is one of the highlights of the sixth session of the Conference of the Parties to the WHO FCTC.

Answering the question about the position on smokeless tobacco products, Dmitry Kostennikov added: “The Customs Union as well as the Eurasian Economic Area employ a very considered approach as to the prevalence of consumer products including those containing nicotine. All the decisions and restrictions that may be imposed here will depend on the implementation of the Convention policies into agreements between Russia and other countries of the Customs Union”.

“We need to discuss the regulation of the turnover of these products and the type they belong to. So far we insist that products which are not listed in our technical regulations, with no defined properties may not be permitted to sale” – noted Dmitry Kostennikov. “As to Russia, we must first of all focus our efforts on counteracting the new types of tobacco consumption coming to our market”, – said Dmitry Kostennikov.

He also added that the Russian Federation has adopted and implemented one of the most stringent laws restricting the consumption of tobacco products and protecting the rights of the nonsmokers. “We need to monitor the results of the enforcement of the law that has come into its full force this year and define additional rules that are to be introduced to implement the Convention’s decisions” – Dmitry Kostennikov said.

During the press-conference, the Head of the WHO FCTC Secretariat, Dr. Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva emphasized the importance of the implementing guidelines adopted during the sixth session and aimed at reducing tobacco consumption. «Tobacco industry is trying to weaken our measures. We must enhance our vigilance to protect our citizens, especially those who have not started smoking yet, from the profiteering interests of tobacco companies – said Dr. Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva, she also added that “we still need to fill in the gaps in legislation systems of many countries in terms of counteracting tobacco prevalence”.

Concluding the sixth session, the President of the COP Bureau, Chang-jin Moon indicated the importance of international cooperation in this area. He highly praised the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control as well as the results it has yielded over the ten years since its adoption. Every subsequent Conference of the Parties elects the President and five Vice-Presidents, they shall commence their term of office at the closure of the session and shall serve until the closure of the following regular session of the Conference of the Parties.

The previous, fifth session of the Conference of the Parties to the WHO FCTC (COP5), which took place in the Republic of Korea in 2012 chose the representative of Korea, Dr. Chang-jin Moon to be the President of the next session. The sixth session has chosen the representative of Russia, Deputy Director of the Department of International Cooperation and Public Relations of the Ministry of Healthcare of the Russian Federation, Oleg Salagay to become the President of the Conference. The representative of Russia will be serving as the President of the Conference of the Parties to the FCTC for the next two years.