24 November 201900:00

Comment for media by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Oleg Troyanovsky’s centenary birthday anniversary

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This autumn we are marking a series of anniversaries of great diplomats – the 110th birthday anniversary of Andrey Gromyko, the 100th anniversaries of Alexander Dobrynin and Oleg Troyanovsky. 

Oleg Troyanovsky is a great person who comes from a diplomat family. His father was Ambassador of the USSR to the USA. He started his diplomatic career in London, was deeply engaged during talks following the Second World War when the fate of specific matters was resolved to bring this tragedy to complete end, when the parameters of the post-war world order were agreed. He was particularly known for being the USSR Ambassador to Japan and the USSR Permanent Representative at the UN in New York. That was the time when I was blessed to work under his direct guidance.

Oleg Troyanovsky was famous in UN circles for his erudition, diplomatic intuition and hit ability to find an excellent way out from any situation, even the most complicated ones. He was also famous for his sense of humour. Once during a UN General Assembly mission – it was the time when the USSR and China’s relations were far from good – Chinese radical NGOs representatives, who were active in New York City back then, poured red paint on Oleg Troyanovsky and his US colleague, the US Representative to the UN, as they were leaving the conference room. Oleg Troyanovsky then uttered a phrase that became what we now call “a meme” at the UN headquarters – Better red than dead. The sagacity, which was revealed in this not really momentous episode, was peculiar to him both in minor and very important issues.

After New York, he worked in the People’s Republic of China where he reconfirmed his top-level qualifications, professionalism and ability to find a solution for the most convoluted situations.

We will always remember Oleg Troyanovsky. He left several books behind that have been a priceless source of information for our diplomats. We will be doing everything possible to pass on his experience to younger generations and carry on these traditions.

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