In the event of a life-threatening situation, filmmaker Alexander Sokurov, who argued with President Vladimir Putin at a meeting of the Council on the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights, will be guarded.

Putin will instruct law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of filmmaker Alexander Sokurov if necessary, but for now such concerns are exaggerated, said presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov, quoted by Interfax.

«I have no doubt that if this is going to happen, the president will be prepared (to provide security),» the spokesman stressed.

According to him, after the discussion between Sokurov and Putin at the HRC meeting, there is no reason to apologize. «We believe that during the meeting, during the very interesting and informative discussion that took place at this meeting, nothing happened that required any kind of apology,» he stressed.

Earlier, Sokurov, a member of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, wrote an address to the Council in which he apologized for his statement at the meeting with Putin and spoke of his fears for his life.

Director Alexander Sokurov, in his speech at the December 10 meeting of the Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights, entered into a discussion with President Vladimir Putin. The video of the meeting was published on the YouTube channel of Radio Liberty. The situation in the North Caucasus Federal District is the most problematic in Russia, Sokurov said at the meeting. The director recalled protests in Ingushetia against the 2018 border agreement in Chechnya and asked for the release of arrested protest leaders.

After the director’s speech, Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov suggested in his Telegram channel that the competent authorities should give a legal assessment to the director’s statements about the North Caucasus republics within Russia. Later, the speaker of the Chechen Parliament, Magomed Daudov, announced on his Instagram page that the Chechen parliament had sent appeals to Russia’s Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov and to the head of the Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin in connection with the director’s statements about territorial claims within Russia.

Sokurov, in turn, stated that he feared criminal prosecution because of his statements at the meeting of the Human Rights Council with the head of state. «I hope that the President will not allow this to happen, because the Human Rights Council is designed for different points of view, including political issues, to be expressed there,» he said.

* The Russian Ministry of Justice has included the media in the register of non-profit organizations performing the functions of a foreign agent.

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