Выступление Посла России в Австралии А.В.Павловского на государственном приеме по случаю Дня России, Канберра, 12 июня 2019 года
Acting Chief of Protocol Ms Pamela O’Grady,
Dear Colleagues of the Diplomatic corps,
Dear Compatriots, Дорогие соотечественники,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
For an Ambassador to speak at his National Day celebration is always a very special occasion. In my case I am all the more excited given the fact that I have just arrived - less than four weeks have elapsed since I presented my credentials to the Governor-General H.E. the Hon Sir Peter Cosgrove.
Thus, it is my first opportunity to meet most of you and I am really happy to welcome you here.
The country I am honored to serve and represent – the Russian Federation – has a millennium-long history and rich cultural heritage. Russia is also proud of its achievements in science, high-technologies and sports. In international affairs we are open to equal, respectful and mutually beneficial co-operation with all the nations of the world. And this is exactly what we believe in when it comes to our relations with Australia.
Our two countries, though geographically distant, have solid ties rooted in history. Through the 19-th century Port Jackson (now Sydney) and Melbourne were frequented by the Russian seafarers, including Mikhail Lazarev and Faddey Bellingshausen on their way to discover Antarctica.
It might be less known that the solemn opening of the First Australian Parliament on the 9th of May 1901 was attended by the crew orchestra from the Russian ship “Gromoboy”, anchored in the Port of Melbourne at that time. As a recollection of that symbolic fact of history we are lucky to have here with us the Band of the Royal Military College with its impeccable performance of the Russian National Anthem.
We do remember, and we always will, the courage of our Australian brothers-in-arms, those brave pilots and sailors, who participated in the Arctic convoys during the Second World War, delivering much needed supplies to the Soviet Union. This support alongside with opening later of the Second Front in the West was an important contribution to our common Great Victory over Nazism.
Nowadays the world is going through another turbulent stage with new threats and challenges arising. Russia and Australia as responsible members of international community and two nations of the Asia-Pacific have every reason to maintain political dialogue, consult each other and closely interact in international fora.
And, what is of tremendous importance - mutual aspiration of our citizens for interaction, friendship and establishment of people-to-people relations has always been there. This year our respective “cultural capitals” – Saint Petersburg and Melbourne – celebrate the 30-th anniversary of sister-city relations. Bolshoi Theatre and Russian Imperial Ballet will shortly present again their masterpieces in Australia, and premier releases of the best Russian movies will be shown at the annual Russian Resurrection Film Festival.
I am glad to announce that a new group of Australian National University students will visit Moscow and Saint Petersburg next month in the framework of a two-week training course “Doing Business in Russia”.
We are grateful to the Government of Australia for their continuous support to the Russian community. Australia is home for the largest Russian-speaking population in Asia-Pacific. The contribution our compatriots make to many spheres of life here in Australia makes us very proud.
Dear friends, though I’ve only covered the second page of my 10-page speech, something prompts me that it is high time to wind up my narrative and turn to a more pleasant part of tonight’s reception.
May I conclude by saying that am looking forward to work together with you in order to make Russian-Australian relations sounder, stronger and – at the end of the day – more beneficial to the peoples of both countries.
Thank you, Ladies and Gentlemen. I now invite everybody to taste the Russian traditional cuisine and enjoy this wonderful evening!