Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at a wreath laying ceremony at the memorial plaques in the Foreign Ministry on the occasion of Diplomats’ Day Moscow, February 10, 2021
Friends, veterans and colleagues,
Today, on the occasion of Diplomats’ Day, we traditionally pay tribute to our great predecessors and colleagues, first of all the staff of the People’s Commissariat of Foreign Affairs who, together with their colleagues from the Commissariat of Foreign Trade of the Soviet Union, lost their lives during the Great Patriotic War, making a huge contribution to our common Victory, the victory of the entire humankind over the fascist threat. We also remember those who fell victim to political persecution in the 1930s and 1940s, as well as those who died in the line of duty. All of them, our predecessors and colleagues provided a shining example of selfless service to the Fatherland in different circumstances.
This year, the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, we will continue the commemoration activities we began in the year of the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory we celebrated in 2020. We will hold special events to commemorate those I have mentioned today and their contribution to the Great Victory and to the achievement of our goals on the international stage.
This year we will also celebrate the birth anniversaries of our great predecessors, namely Vasily Kuznetsov, Mikhail Kapitsa, Yakov Malik and Yuly Kvitsinsky. The Department of History and Records, territorial department, the Council of Veterans, the Association of Russian Diplomats and the Council of Young Diplomats will be holding celebratory events so as to perpetuate the memory of these people’s contribution to our common efforts and to ensure that their experience, which is handed down from one generation to another, is actively applied. Today we need this more than ever before, primarily because of the international situation.
Russia’s attempts to become an independent state, to uphold its right to an independent foreign policy and to protect international law are coming against increasingly harsh resistance of our Western colleagues, who would like to teach “obedience” to us. They would like us to accept the highly questionable interpretation of common human values, an interpretation that contradicts Russia’s cultural and civilisational traditions. They would like Russia to become a “convenient” territory for promoting their own security, economic, social and political interests. We can see that these are becoming ever more aggressive with every passing day. We must actively apply our efforts, knowledge and experience, based on the wisdom of our predecessors, to consistently promote the foreign policy course formulated by President Vladimir Putin.
Celebrations are being held today not only in Moscow, but also beyond Russia where our colleagues have organised special activities, wreath laying ceremonies and other commemorative events. I am sure that these celebrations will help us further mobilise our knowledge and skills so as to continue upholding the interests of our country and justice on the international stage.
On this special day, I would like to once again wholeheartedly wish all of you, but especially our veterans, all the best and every success. Congratulations!