Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at a ceremony of laying flowers at memorial plaques on Diplomats’ Day, Moscow, February 10, 2020
Friends and veterans,
Every year we begin this day – Diplomats’ Day – with this ceremony to honour the memory of and pay respect to our comrades and predecessors who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of our country during the Great Patriotic War, suffered during the years of political repression and laid down their lives in the call of duty after the war was over, including quite recently.
This is an eternal reminder of how important and dangerous our work is and how much devotion, self-perfection and courage it requires. This year we will mark the anniversaries of several of our great predecessors, including those who also sacrificed their lives for our homeland, in particular Alexander Griboyedov. There are also other anniversaries, which we will rightly celebrate in order to preserve the memory of those who created our diplomatic service and in a way not only strengthened the country’s position, but also established its foundations. This year we will also mark two jubilees: the 75th anniversary of the Yalta Conference, which we are currently celebrating, and the future 75th anniversary of the United Nations, the signing of its Charter in San Francisco and, finally, the beginning of the UN General Assembly’s deliberations in the autumn of 1945.
A lot has been said about the lessons of those days; there is an ongoing discussion in which some of our Western (and not only Western) partners are trying to whitewash accomplices of the Nazis and misrepresent the role of the USSR and all the peoples of the USSR that made a decisive contribution to the defeat of Nazism. It goes without saying how important this work is in our everyday diplomatic activities. President of Russia Vladimir Putin has made this subject a priority this year and for the future, because the attempts to rewrite history and thereby influence world developments at the present stage will continue. We must be fully armed to render these attempts futile.
On this day we reaffirm our determination to do everything to pursue the Russian foreign policy course set by the President and do our utmost to be worthy of our great predecessors. It is for the Russian people to decide whether we succeed or not.
Once again, I congratulate you on our professional holiday. In particular, I want to express the wish that our veterans remain in the ranks as long as possible and pass over their invaluable experience to young people. I wish you health and success.