I would like to extend my congratulations to my friend Lyudmila Mikhailovna Alekseyeva and the rest of the Moscow Helsinki Group on the commemoration of its 40-year anniversary today.
The Moscow Helsinki Group is a product of the Helsinki Final Act, also known as the Helsinki Accords, signed by 35 heads of state, including the Soviet Union’s General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev in 1975. Under the agreement, the signatories pledged to respect the universal significance of human rights and fundamental freedoms. During the past four decades, and often in the face of strict repression, the Moscow Helsinki Group has pressed to advance human rights in the former Soviet Union and Russian Federation.
The legacy of its founding members, including Lyudmila Mikhailovna, continues today as the Moscow Helsinki Group works to advance the worthy causes of human rights, dignity, justice, and rule of law. I wish to congratulate the Moscow Helsinki Group on this historic occasion.