Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks while laying a floral tribute at the memorial plaque commemorating Foreign Ministry employees who died during the Great Patriotic War, Moscow, May 8, 2019
I am offering you, and primarily our veterans, congratulations on the holy occasion, the Victory Day, which we are marking for the 74th time.
The war was horrible. It took an unparalleled courage on the part of all anti-fascists, primarily the peoples of the Soviet Union, to break the back of Hitler’s “plague of brown-shirts.” Our fellow employees, officers of the People’s Commissariat of Foreign Affairs, whose names are immortalised in this hall, made a contribution of their own to the defeat of the Nazis. Let me also note the contribution made by people other than combatants, who worked in the capitals to form an anti-Hitler coalition, improve cooperation within the coalition, and create the bedrock foundation of the modern world, the United Nations (UN), as well as the norms and principles enshrined in its Charter.
We are not dividing Victory into ours and someone else’s. We appreciate the contribution of all states, peoples, and guerilla movements to our common Victory. We proceed from the assumption that it could not be otherwise. Today, too, by a collective effort, we are working to make sure that the horrors of World War II will never be repeated.
Many people, primarily those abroad, are saying that our focus on the memorial dates of the Great Patriotic War is aimed at militarising our society. I am aware that certain countries would like to forget as soon as possible about the role they played during the years of preparation for World War II. But I think that it is just indecent to accuse us of militarising public consciousness. Everything that we are doing is aimed at not letting the present generation and all future ones forget the horrors of that war and inducing them to prevent the recurrence of anything of the kind.
I once again congratulate all our employees, particularly the veterans, on this great occasion. And, of course, I am conveying congratulations to our friends from the National Guard of Russia.