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SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

16.09.2015

Ambassador A.Yakovenko on reception at the Russian Embassy to mark the opening of the “Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space age” exhibition

Ladies and gentlemen,

 Dear friends,

 It’s a pleasure and honour for me to welcome you all at this reception to mark tomorrow’s grand opening of the exhibition “Cosmonauts: birth of the space age” at the Science Museum.

 I am proud to greet Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space who is also here with us today, as well as Elena Gagarina, Yuri Gagarin’s daughter and director of the Kremlin Museums, and Olga Korolyova, a granddaughter of our space rocket creator.

 Russia remains one of the world leading space powers. Outer space exploration is an essential component and driver of our economy. On agenda there are some new projects to be carried out. Among them – a Moon Program, Mars exploration, development of new families of launchers. New Russian national Space centre «Vostochny» is currently under construction in the Russian Far East.

 One of examples of international cooperation is the International Space Station. I took part in the multilateral talks on this project. During latest flight to the station Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka has established the new world record of staying in space for the total of 878 days. This exhibition, never seen before, even in Russia, shows the origins and achievements of the Soviet and Russian space programme. The scale of the display makes it unique and I understand it’s the biggest event in the history of the Museum. The interest of the public is already enormous, and we all know that the British people have been fascinated by the feats of space exploration ever since Yuri Gagarin visited London and Manchester in 1961.

 In English, the common expression for something very difficult to understand or accomplish is “rocket science”. Actually, assembling and bringing this exhibition to London was “rocket science” – so many challenges had to be addressed. This is why I’d like to give special thanks to the persons without whom this fascinating event would hardly be possible. From the Russian side it’s Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets, who will join us tomorrow at the Science Museum, and from the British side it’s the Director of the Museum, Ian Blatchford. Mr. Blatchford has shown great commitment to this ambitious project and his contribution to the imminent success can’t be overestimated. This is why the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has petitioned the President to award him with the Pushkin Medal, the Russian state decoration bestowed for cultural achievements, and the decree is about to be signed. In the meantime this is how it looks. 

 This exhibition is an excellent example of cultural cooperation between Russia and Britain which continues to link our peoples in times of political disagreements. Our job is to maintain these ties that bind.

 I’d like to thank Bob Dudley for sponsoring the exhibition and our reception.

I’d like also to draw your attention to the watches, which were worn by our cosmonauts. They are produced now and you can buy them at the Museum. Edgar Volodko insures that they are produced to the high quality standards. He is also here with us.

 And I think that you’ll be interested in the new space magazine “ROOM”, produced by Russian publishers in Europe in two languages. Editor-in-chief is Igor Ashurbeyli. It gives us new trends in the sphere of outer space technologies.

 May I now give the floor to Ian Blatchford.




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