Acting Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the flower laying ceremony at memorial plaques to mark Victory Day, Moscow, May 8, 2018
We come together annually at this time of the year to mark the greatest date in the history of our country, Victory Day, the day when we celebrate the great achievements of our fathers and grandfathers, and a day of sorrow for those who did not return from the battlefield. Those included employees of the People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs and the People's Commissariat for Foreign Trade, whose memory has been eternised in this room. As we render homage to their feats, let us remember the efforts of those who operated on the foreign policy front to provide a diplomatic backing to the fight of the peoples of the Soviet Union against Hitler’s Germany.
This year, we are marking a number of important anniversaries. Primarily, we are marking 75 years since the Battle of Stalingrad, which turned the tide not only in the Great Patriotic War, but also in the Second World War. This year, we will also mark 75 years since the Moscow Conference of the Foreign Ministers of the USSR, the United States and the United Kingdom and the top-level Tehran Conference among the leaders of the Anti-Hitler Coalition.
Let me echo what has been said on a number of occasions already: common threats and a common enemy enabled countries with opposing social and economic systems to unite their efforts for the sake of a shared Victory, and to prevent a catastrophe for humanity. I strongly believe that this experience must teach us all a lesson, which is especially relevant in today’s international environment.
We must also be mindful of other lessons of this era, when nationalist selfishness and the unwillingness to respect the principles of equal and indivisible security prevailed, when attempts were made to ensure one’s security to the detriment of others. I am obviously referring to the Munich Agreement, which was concluded 80 years ago in 1938, becoming the pinnacle of the appeasement policy by Western powers with regard to the Third Reich. It was the Munich Agreement that paved the way to the Second World War. We must also be mindful of this sad experience in today’s environment.
Russia will never act to the detriment of security of any other country. We are always open to an honest and sincere dialogue, respecting the interests of all our partners and committed to balancing all the interests. This remains the case today, as President of Russia Vladimir Putin said yesterday during his inauguration. We will be consistent in our efforts to promote these principles and will do everything to prevent the horrors that humanity faced during the Second World War from ever happening again.
I would like to once again congratulate our dear veterans on this great occasion, and wish them good health and keep working for the benefit of our Ministry.