24 January 2018
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Russia and the Netherlands: traditions, historical continuity and new prospects for partnership (Article by Vladimir Putin, De Telegraaf, 6 April 2013)

Prior to the working visit of the Russian President to the Netherlands, an article by Vladimir Putin was published by the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

My visit to the Netherlands begins on Monday. In the course of this visit HM Queen Beatrix and I will officially open the Year of Russia in the Netherlands and the Year of the Netherlands in Russia.

In the framework of this largest endeavor ever we will try to cover as many areas of bilateral cooperation as possible, to support business and creative initiatives of the citizens of our countries, organisations of the civil society and regions and thus encourage the strengthening and further development of the traditionally friendly relations between Russian and the Netherlands.

Art exhibitions, theater tours and sports competitions - on the whole over 200 cultural and educational events - will take place during the Bilateral Year in our countries. All this will most certainly enrich the social life both in Russia and the Netherlands and will allow our peoples to learn more about each other.

With over 60 business forums and other economy-oriented events on schedule, the Bilateral Year is bound to give a significant impetus to promising business projects.

The Netherlands has long been among the top three trade and investment partners of Russia. In 2012, our bilateral turnover amounted to 82.7 billion US dollars while the accumulated Dutch investment in Russia reached 61.5 billion US dollars at the end of last year. These numbers visually testify to the enormous potential we have for cooperation, primarily in the energy sphere, high technology and innovation, agricultural and food industries.

We are proud of the glorious pages of our common history. Today, in the 21st century, we are trying to ensure continuity by advancing harmonious and genuine partnership with the Netherlands.

People of Russia are well aware that the Dutch were the ones who taught seamanship to Peter the Great; 400 years ago Holland was a leading maritime and trade power, and its natives left a major imprint in the world’s history, including Russian. The people in the Netherlands, in turn, remember the heroism of Russian soldiers who in 1813 helped liberate Amsterdam, Breda and other Dutch cities from Napoleon’s invaders. They honor the memory of our compatriot, Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna, spouse of King William II. And I would like to hope that the respect of the Dutch people for the Russian soldiers who fought and died liberating Europe from Nazism remains unchanged.

The Bilateral Year will no doubt create a good foundation for further deepening of political dialogue between Russia and the Netherlands. To a large extent, our positions on the key issues of the European and global international politics are similar. We intend to further promote the strengthening of security and stability in Europe and in the whole world, and the reduction of risk of economic distress.

I sincerely hope that the Bilateral Year will give our peoples a chance to become closer, to know each other better, will, in the long term, open up ways to pursue various joint initiatives. I would like to take this opportunity to wish peace, success and prosperity to the readers of De Telegraaf and the people of the Netherlands, this beautiful land of tulips.


17.01.2018 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the unveiling of memorial plaque in Sayes Court Park

Dear Mayor, Dear Councillors, Lady Joan, Ladies and gentlemen, It is now 320 years ago that a truly remarkable man set foot in Deptford. As you know, the Russian Tsar Peter, later named the Great, visited Western Europe in 1697—1698 under the nickname of Peter Mikhailov, with his Grand Embassy. He was eager to find out about the latest achievements in science and technology and create new diplomatic alliances. Of course, England couldn’t escape his attention. He mostly studied shipbuilding at the famous Deptford Dockyard, but he also met King William III, and, reportedly, Isaac Newton. Peter’s landlord, the famous John Evelyn, was also a respected scientist – a founder member of the Royal Society.

13.12.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the Presentation of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia by Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, I am pleased to welcome you to the Russian Embassy at the Presentation of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia by Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee. It’s a common knowledge, that football is the most popular game in the world. It is an honour for us to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup for the first time in the history of our country. I believe that those who come to Russia to support their national teams will leave with unforgettable memories.

08.12.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the Roscosmos "Sputnik" exhibition launch at Rossotrudnichestvo

Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the Roscosmos "Sputnik" exhibition launch at Rossotrudnichestvo (7 December 2017)

25.11.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the reception at the Embassy dedicated to Russian Film Week (24 November 2017)

Ladies and gentlemen, Dear friends First of all, I would like to pay tribute to the outstanding Russian opera singer Dmitri Hvorostovsky who passed away this week. In 2015 he gave a concert in this very hall. I am delighted to welcome you at our reception dedicated to the Russian Film Week and the environmental causes it champions. This year their charity partner is World Wide Fund for Nature, which runs many projects in Russia in coordination and with support of the Russian Government. Russia has a unique, fascinating wildlife. A number of this week’s films show the natural beauty of our land and are sure to raise awareness of how fragile this beauty is. We appreciate the WWF effort in Russia and worldwide and call on everybody to become a supporter, especially this year, marked as Year of Ecology in Russia.

20.11.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the launch of the Russian Film Week (19 November 2017)

Ladies and gentlemen, It is a pleasure for me to be at the opening of the second edition of the Russian Film Week here in London – which this year also spans to Cambridge and Edinburgh.

16.10.2017 - Unpublished letter to the Editor of The Times (sent 12 October)

Sir, If British MPs are free to speak out, wherever they wish, on any issue, why try to block their freedom of speech (“Helping Putin”, 11 October)? If a TV channel wants (and is legally bound) to present different points of view, why slam those who express these views? If the mere act of giving an interview to foreign media amounts to high treason, why does The Times interview Russian politicians without fear? And finally - while MPs critical of Russia are welcome guests on the Russian TV channel RT, does your paper give the same treatment to those critical of the paper’s owner? Konstantin Shlykov Press Secretary of the Embassy of the Russian Federation

25.09.2017 - PRESENTATION by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk at the Christian Future of Europe Conference 22 September 2017, London

Your Eminences and Your Excellencies, dear Mr. Ambassador, conference organizers and participants, I cordially greet all of those gathered today at the Russian Embassy in London to partake in this conference dedicated to the question of the future of Christianity in Europe. This topic is not only not losing any of its relevance, but is resounding ever anew. Experts believe that today Christianity remains not only the most persecuted religious community on the planet, but is also encountering fresh challenges which touch upon the moral foundations of peoples' lives, their faith and their values. Recent decades have seen a transformation in the religious and ethnic landscape of Europe.

23.09.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at presentation of the book "The Mystery of Repentance" held at the Russian Embassy

I’m glad to welcome you here to a discussion of two prominent hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Church of England, on Christian future of Europe.

12.09.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the exhibition opening (“Scythians: Warriors of ancient Siberia” 12 September, British Museum)

Today the British Museum and the State Hermitage of Saint-Petersburg are once again proving their unique world class by bringing a whole new civilization to London. Ancient, and almost mythical, but creative, powerful and very different from what we have all known about antiquity – the Scythians.

14.07.2017 - Letter of Consul General Mr Andrey Pritsepov to the Herald newspaper, published 13.07.2017

I NOTE a rather questionable article by Mark McLaughlin (“Russians lurking near Faslane to eavesdrop on nuclear submarines", The Herald, July 11). Do you really believe that 145 million Russians would elect a leader who would command his nuclear submarines to chase someone's sole and lonely operative U-boat which is firing missiles in the opposite direction or Type 45 destroyers with faulty engines or an aircraft carrier without aircraft on it, all of them being located in Scottish waters?

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