Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s address at the opening ceremony for the new Russian Embassy in Abkhazia, Sukhum, April 18, 2017
Mr Khajimba, Mr Kove, Mr Grigoryev,
A housewarming is always a happy occasion. First of all, a housewarming party is associated with family and home. With diplomats, the embassy is, without a doubt, their second home. I would like to congratulate all our diplomats, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on this happy occasion – the unveiling our new Embassy in the Abkhazia.
I am confident that the Embassy will not only be a second home for our diplomats, but also for all their friends in Abkhazia, including from the diplomatic corps, who will often drop by according to the Russian tradition of hospitality.
I would like to thank everyone – the Russian and Abkhaz construction workers, contractors and subcontractors, who worked diligently to make this impressive project a reality. It is truly mind-blowing. I'm certain that it does not reflect a passion for gigantism in architecture. This project, its greatness reflects the attitude of the Russian Federation towards the allied Abkhazian people. And this is our principled position.
This Embassy has a short history. This building is completely new, but it continues the story that began on August 26, 2008, when diplomatic relations were established, something Mr Grigoryev has just mentioned.
On the scale of our lives, this is not such a long time. From 2008 to now, only a few things have changed. But what things! These were years of joint heroism, a joint struggle for truth and justice, years of mutual support, and, to our great regret, these were also years of loss. Dmitry and Olga Vishernev, who tragically died, killed by extremists while doing their duty, used to work at the Embassy of Russia in Abkhazia, though in a different building. I think it would be only right to install a memorial plaque at the new Embassy to honour their memory. I think a place will be found for it.
I am glad to see our veterans, all colleagues who worked and continue to work with us, my colleagues – foreign ministers in their different roles and everyone who joined us today for this shared holiday.
We will not cut any ribbons, but I am sure that the Ambassador will find an opportunity to greet everyone who is here today.
Thank you very much. Welcome home to all of us, and may our friendship be forever.