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684 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     676 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities

SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

11.05.2017

The Worshipful Mayor of Southwark speech on Victory Day (May 9 2017, Imperial War Museum)

Ambassadors, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

I welcome you all here today at the Soviet War Memorial as we remember those who gave their lives during the Second World War on the 72nd anniversary of the victory of the allied forces in Europe.

This victory was a moment of great relief across the world as one of the most devastating periods of History began to draw to close. The war in the European theatre came to an end.
It was a war that directly involved over 100 million people from over 30 countries and where it is estimated between 50 and 85 million people died. This war was unprecedented in the loss of civilian as well as military lives. We must remember the extraordinary sacrifice made to defend freedom and democracy, and honour all of those whose contribution enables us to enjoy the liberties we have now.
The Cold War that followed the Second World War affected the way that the contribution of the USSR to Victory was presented here in the UK, but in the 1990’s this began to change. In 1995 the 50th anniversary ceremonies also commemorated the loss of Soviet lives. It became apparent that there was a need for a permanent memorial in London to commemorate the loss of 27 million Soviet men women and children.
Twenty years ago on 9 May 1997 the Soviet War Memorial Trust had its inaugural meeting. The Trust was established to raise funds to create a memorial and we are here today in the presence of the fruits of that work and the dedication and commitment of those involved. This memorial titled Sorrowful, is a semi-abstract figure which holds aloft a bell which will forever remain silent in memory of those who died. I have the maquette in my office at Tooley Street and it is a daily reminder of the sacrifice of so many people. It keeps me humble.
The memorial was unveiled in front of 400 people, on 9 May 1999 by Mayor Bill Skelly (who is here today), and who remains a trustee of the Soviet Memorial trust fund to this day.
This memorial is a fitting recognition of the exceptional contribution made by the peoples of the Soviet Union to the victory of the allies in the Second World War.
There is little doubt that the building of this Memorial has made a significant impact in bringing together people from Russia, the rest of the former Soviet Union with the British public to jointly remember the heroic sacrifices of WWII. Southwark Council remains proud of its involvement and support in this endeavour.




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Sir, Polish Ambassador Rzegocki, in his letter published on 9 January, proposes to “question the USSR’s status as liberator”, claiming that Molotov-Ribbentrop pact “sparked the war and a double totalitarian invasion of Poland”. Let me suggest to my Polish colleague to look deeper into the history of that time.


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I know what the interests of my country are. And whatever somebody might say about me, this has no importance whatsoever when compared to the fundamental tasks that Russia is interested in solving. But of course, we see, we hear, we understand and we take those views into consideration in our work.


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Ladies and gentlemen! I am pleased with the opportunity to deliver my first speech as Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom at the Russian-British Business Forum. Over the five years, the Forum has become a solid platform for open and direct dialogue and exchange of views, involving both business community and officials. The number of participants has been growing annually. Together, we have managed to create a constructive atmosphere of partnership.


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21.11.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at a joint news conference with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Moscow, November 20, 2019

We have had very good talks with my Bahraini colleague and friend, Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, and we have reached agreements on all the issues we discussed.



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