Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the ceremony to present the Pushkin Medal to foreign nationals, Moscow, November 4, 2017
Good afternoon. I would like to begin this ceremony by saying a few words.
To begin with, we are happy that on our national holiday, National Unity Day, we are holding a ceremony to present the Pushkin Medal to those who devoted a large part of their lives to promoting friendship among nations, the Russian language and culture, as well as the mutual enrichment of your national cultures.
I would like to say a few words about every one of you. I will begin with Ms Nguyen Tuyet Minh, who was one of those who pioneered the teaching of Russian in Vietnam. You have been working for nearly 60 years to train several generations of talented specialists on Russia, philologists, translators and teachers. You have written many fundamental studies, including the Vietnamese-Russian and Russian-Vietnamese dictionaries, without which working would have been very difficult. We very much appreciate that you continue working at the Russian Centre for Science and Culture in Hanoi and at the Russian World Foundation Centre at the Hanoi State University International School.
Mr Najam Ul Sahar Butt is a man who, in addition to his essential and very noble profession, is making a huge contribution to promoting the Russian culture by producing very good Urdu translations of our best writers, including Nikolai Gogol, Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Mikhail Bulgakov. We highly appreciate the fact that you established the Association of Pakistani Graduates from Russia & CIS back in 1998 in Lahore. We have taken note of your recent translation of the book “First Person: Conversations with Vladimir Putin.”
Mr Attila Vidnyanszky is making a great personal contribution to promoting Russian literature and introducing the Hungarian audiences to Russia’s rich cultural heritage. We highly appreciate your contribution to the resumption of ties between the Russian and Hungarian theatres. The Russian and Hungarian schools training actors have held student exchanges.
Mr Valery A. Tretyakov, the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Litovsky Kurier, one of the largest Russian language media outlets in Lithuania. By its very existence, this newspaper is not only promoting the Russian language and culture, but it is also contributing to our joint efforts to strengthen moral values that are of great importance for our societies. We very much appreciate your contribution to upholding the rights of Russian compatriots and resisting the falsification of history.
I don’t think that I need to speak at length about the importance of human relationships in our modern world, or about the ability to set aside ideologically charged attitudes. This is especially important for those who deal with politics, including domestic and foreign policies. However, officials do not always manage to do this. This is why we very much appreciate citizen diplomacy and the contribution of those, including you, who are working to strengthen our friendly relations with your countries. Your contribution can be described as citizen diplomacy or simply human interaction and a desire to know and understand each other better and to develop relations in the interests of all and everyone.