24 July 2014
Moscow: 06:17
London: 03:17

Consular Section:  
+44(0) 203 668 7474   
info@rusemb.org.uk  

 

DIPLOMATS’ DAY

On 10 February Russian diplomats mark their professional day – Diplomats’ Day, which was established by a Presidential Decree in 2002 to commemorate the founding of the Russian Diplomatic Service in 1549.

The date itself is closely associated with the history of Russia’s first foreign affairs agency – the Ambassadorial Department (or “Posolsky Prikaz” in Russian). On 10 February 1549 the Ambassadorial Department, established by Czar Ivan IV, was first mentioned in official chronicles.

Of course, the Russian diplomatic traditions date back to more distant times.

For instance, the “Agreement on Peace and Love” between Ancient Russia and Byzantine Empire was signed in 860, and the envoys of Russian principalities were frequent guests in the states of the Medieval Europe.

But in 1500s, after the creation of a strong united Russian State, the necessity of a special diplomatic department to implement foreign policy became vital. Since 1549 the diplomatic service was made into an office of the State and received a special status.

The Ambassadorial Department successfully managed the Russian foreign policy throughout XVI-XVII centuries (with first permanent Russian diplomatic missions abroad opening in 1600s), when in 1718-1720 it was gradually transformed into the Collegium of Foreign affairs by Emperor Peter the Great.

This marked the emergence of the Russian Empire and the establishment of Russia as a Great European power. The constellation of talented diplomats serving within the Collegium laid down the basic principles and methods of the Russian diplomacy.

Finally, in 1802, the modern form of foreign policy management – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – was created by the manifesto of   Emperor  Alexander I.

By 1914 Russia had a wide network of diplomatic and consular representations all over the world.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in 1917-1946 – the Peoples Commissariat for Foreign Affairs) upheld state interests at every turning point of Russian and world history. Our diplomacy made crucial contributions to the strengthening of the anti-Hitler coalition during World War II and creation of the United Nations Organization, bolstered the UN authority in governing international relations, fought for peace and disarmament.

Today the Russian diplomacy plays a significant role within the UN, G8, G20, APEC and other world and regional forums, promotes ties of friendship and cooperation with other states.

A diplomat of our times is completely different from the one of the past centuries. Modern diplomacy has become by far diverse and dynamic. It requires a wider range of knowledge in various fields such as environmental issues, climate change, fighting terrorism and many others. While its method evolves towards multi-vector net-working, the chief task remains the same – security favourable external conditions for the national development.

But the best fundamental traditions of the Russian diplomats are still going strong, and among them – high professional culture, profound knowledge of international relations, commitment to their own country and respect for the countries of posting.