ST. PETERSBURG, May 17 (RAPSI, Vladimir Novikov) - Russian notaries are several years behind their colleagues from former Soviet republics in the use of modern information technology and digital document management systems, chair of the Federal Notary Chamber Maria Sazonova said at a roundtable meeting at the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum (SPILF).

She said a certification center had been established at the chamber four years ago, and some 8,000 private notaries have received personal electronic signature certificates.

"The new law on notaries and notary business offers them access to all online government registers," Sazonova said, adding that online interaction between notaries and government agencies is still at the experimental stage and is not formalized in a law.

"Kazakhstan and Ukraine have had electronic registers of notary deeds since 2010, and their notaries have free access to all government databases. Russia will need to overcome the psychological barrier hindering the use of technology in this area," Sazonova said.

She said that some conservatively minded Russian notaries do not use their electronic digital signatures but continue to deal with hard copies.

SPILF bills itself as the largest legal event in Russia, Eastern Europe, and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region. In gathering many of the best and brightest legal minds around the globe, it aims to establish itself as a “permanent platform for the highest level of discussion for politicians, lawyers, businessmen, and scholars.”