18 October 201918:12

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at a gala meeting dedicated to the 85th anniversary of the Foreign Ministry’s Diplomatic Academy, Moscow, October 18, 2019

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Mr Yakovenko, Mr Ushakov, friends, colleagues,

Today is a big day – the 85th anniversary of the Diplomatic Academy. Regardless of what it was called in 1934, it is the Diplomatic Academy, an institution that has become an integral part of our foreign policy service.

Russian Presidential Aide Yury Ushakov read a greetings from President Putin, who highly appreciates the Diplomatic Academy’s activities. Mr Ushakov also said kind words about the academy and its new rector, which I fully share.

For my part, I would like to add a few words. The Academy was created to train highly professional foreign policy personnel. It has come a long way and formed wonderful teaching and research traditions. It has provided training to a number of stellar statesmen, diplomats, politicians and scientists who have done a lot for the progressive development of our Motherland and for strengthening its position in the international arena. I will mention just one graduate – the legendary Alexander Dobrynin, whose 100th birth anniversary we are celebrating this year.

At different times, the academy has been headed by outstanding diplomats, including Viktor Popov, Sergey Tikhvinsky, Yury Kashlev and Yury Fokin. Today, the Diplomatic Academy is led by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Alexander Yakovenko, whom we once again congratulate on this high appointment.

During the years of turbulent change, the Diplomatic Academy was able to adapt to new realities. Today, alongside MGIMO, it remains a talent factory not only for the Foreign Ministry, but also the many state federal and regional entities in Russia and a number of corporations and business associations. Constant improvement and a willingness to keep up with the times are the most important qualities for a diplomats’ effective work. It is hard to overestimate the role of the Diplomatic Academy, which offers a number of specialised advanced training courses in a wide range of areas. Higher diplomatic courses for future heads of our foreign missions remain fully relevant. This form of interaction with its parent institution – the Foreign Ministry – is of direct practical importance.

The research studies conducted at the Diplomatic Academy, which have outstanding applied and practical value, deserve the highest praise. In fact, they contribute to strengthening the analytical activities of the Russian Foreign Ministry, and we use them in drafting our foreign policy decisions.

It is gratifying to know that the Academy has not only preserved, but is carrying on the good tradition of training and advanced training for diplomats from foreign countries, including the CIS and other foreign countries. We will continue to fully support such efforts which are aimed at maintaining trust between our countries and peoples. I welcome the new rector’s plan to prioritise this area.

Of course, all of that would be impossible without a highly skilled teaching staff which includes prominent scientists and high-ranking practicing diplomats. Taking this opportunity, I would like to thank you, dear friends, for your many years of honest work. Special gratitude goes to the veterans who continue to pass on their invaluable experience to diplomats and other students at the Academy.

Today, when international politics continue to be in turmoil, and Russia faces many external challenges, the demand for specialists with broad erudition and the most advanced skills is growing. In this regard, I note with satisfaction that the Academy is energetically improving the education process, ensuring the continuity of the best traditions of our diplomacy in conjunction with the most advanced technology. New areas are being developed, including digital diplomacy, and the expansion of distance learning programmes is on the agenda. The Diplomatic Academy has already begun creating an online Diplomatic Dictionary. Other promising projects include compiling a global digital Diplomatic Library, which will be established jointly with MGIMO University. There are other exciting and promising projects as well. I wish the new leadership success in implementing them.

I’m confident that the Academy will continue to help achieve the important goals that the President of the Russian Federation sets before the diplomatic service and will contribute to the general efforts to implement the country's foreign policy. For our part, our ministry will continue to provide assistance in full.

Once again, I congratulate the Diplomatic Academy and our professional diplomats on this anniversary. I wish you every success, well-being and all the best.

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