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SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

13.06.2017

Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko’s speech at Russia’s National Day Reception (13 June 2017, London)

Your Royal Highness,

Excellencies,

Dear friends,

It is a privilege to welcome you all at my Residence on the occasion of Russia’s National Day. Thanks God for fine weather. Hope you will enjoy the time at our place.

Ever since my country embarked upon the path of radical change 30 years ago, we have had a difficult, even painful journey. It was the price of profound transformation of a society, aspiring for freedom and justice. We abandoned any ideology as alien to common sense and real needs of real people. We have been seeing those tough decisions bearing fruit.

But that is a journey that never ends for there is no such a thing as an end of history. Russia is again one of the leading nations of the world, doing its bit in countering global threats and challenges, among them climate change and the scourge of international terrorism.

One of the lessons we learnt early on is the fact that post-Cold War the world changed for all. Problems of development have come on top of national and international agendas. The Western nations make no exclusion from this global trend. The same issues of adapting socio-economic and political models to the imperatives of our time have caught up with the West. There is a lot of talk of deglobalisation or the need to do something about globalisation’s overreach, which left many behind.

It seems that whatever could be done collectively, through broad international cooperation, economic growth has got to be restored within each nation, first of all, by way of national effort. Some external factors, like sanctions and drastic fall in the price of oil, helped drive that message home for us. Thanks to that Russia is now in a better position to withstand bad international weather, to ensure stability at home and security on our borders and in wider regions adjoining Russia east and west, north and south.

The scale and outcomes of the recent Saint-Petersburg International Economic Forum provide ample proof that those efforts and policies are paying off in terms of our own prosperity and attractiveness for international business partners.

Whatever the state of our bilateral relationship with Britain, we have always been of the view that there is much more to it than political dialogue and the whole range of intergovernmental cooperation.

Although we are always willing to resume political contacts whenever our British partners are ready for that. And let me be frank with you. We expect that with each political change here, in Britain. We’ll never give up hope and will have enough strategic patience. All the more so, that the international issues, on which we are at odds, are being managed multilaterally, either with direct participation of Britain or with participation of her close allies.

In the meantime we focus on people-to-people exchanges, especially in the cultural area, and, of course, on trade and economic ties between British and Russian business. Those have always been, and are especially now, the two pillars of our bilateral relations beyond mere diplomatic ones. For example, this year is our bilateral Year of Science and Education. We are also doing our best in the area of public diplomacy, including in digital media.

Thus, we have been able to keep up our relationship in a way that steadily contributes to better understanding and building up of mutual confidence between our two nations.

Today, as has become a tradition, it gives me a special pleasure to present letters of recognition to a number of persons who have made an outstanding contribution to cultural cooperation between Russia and Britain in the past months. 

May I invite Dr Rosalind Blakesley – a scholar of Russian painting, curator of last year's very successful exhibition "Russia and the Arts" at the National Portrait Gallery. Her book "The Russian Canvas" is a real discovery of Russian XVIII and XIX century painting and winner of this year's Pushkin Prize. 

The second is Dr Natalia Murray, a distinguished art scholar, her achivements include curating the recent "Revolution" exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts.

Let me continue with Ms Susan Reed, who also curated an extraordinary exhibition, this time the ongoing event "Russian Revolution: Hope, Tragedy, Myths" at the British Library. Ms Reed together with Ekaterina Rogachevskaya, who is not here today and to whom the letter of recognition will be presented separately, has succeeded in delivering an insightful exhibition which gives an excellent illustration to the turbulent period in our history 100 years ago.

Next is Ms Eszter Steierhoffer yet another curator, responsible for the "Imagine Moscow" exhibition at the newly reopened Design Museum, exploring early Soviet ideas in architecture.

I would also like to present letters of recognition to two very active members of the Russian community in Northern Ireland, Ms Oksana Shelest and Ms Elena Geddis, of the First Russian School in Belfast. In just 4 years they have organized many events in Belfast and other towns of Northern Ireland, built excellent relations with the local government and communities. 

Thank you very much and enjoy the day.




LATEST EVENTS

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?


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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