8 October 202119:15

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at a meeting with the university graduates just employed with the diplomatic service, Moscow, October 8, 2021

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Good afternoon, colleagues,

As is customary, we hold these meetings annually just after the ministry’s new arrivals begin to familiarise themselves with the work of the Foreign Ministry. I would like to congratulate you on the successful completion of your studies. I am aware that most of you were excellent students who passed a serious competitive selection process. Many of you speak rare foreign languages, including Eastern languages, which is important at this point.

I feel in my heart (I cannot put it otherwise) that you have joined a tightly-knit “home” that maintains continuity and always strives to provide mentorship in the best and bureaucracy-free sense of the word. The heads of the Council of Young Diplomats, the Council of Veterans, the Centre for the History of the Russian Diplomatic Service, the rector of the Foreign Ministry Diplomatic Academy, and representatives from public organisations are here today. We are a family, which does not mean that we are not highly focused on our responsibilities.

You will work during an important period in Russian and world history. The situation in the world is not getting any simpler, which only adds excitement, to be honest. It makes us think creatively and keeps us mindful of the main goal of our foreign policy which is to ensure the most favourable external conditions for our country’s internal development. This is the main content of the Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation as approved by President Vladimir Putin in 2016. Time flies. We are now updating this strategic document. I have no doubt that everyone in their area of ​​work, in their respective departments, will contribute to forming common approaches and foreign policy strategies at the present stage.

Your studies are over, but it’s never too late to learn. The Foreign Ministry has much to offer in this regard. After some time, I recommend that you take a closer look at the specialised courses that the Diplomatic Academy offers in a variety of areas. Language practice never hurts, especially if you only work with one of the two languages, and the other one is in a “frozen” state. Higher foreign language courses at the Foreign Ministry have one of the strongest teams in language training from all points of view. I recommend visiting the Centre for the History of the Russian Diplomatic Service which has amazingly interesting materials.

I hope you will start writing your notes that will help promote our foreign policy in a variety of areas. But please do so with an eye towards your notes eventually ending up at the Centre for the History of the Russian Diplomatic Service. Apply yourselves.

I wish you every success. I am sure that we will occasionally come in contact on work-related matters.

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