18 October 202114:11

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at a function dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the Alexander Solzhenitsyn House of Russia Abroad, Moscow, October 18, 2021

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Mr Moskvin,  

Colleagues,

We have assembled here for the 26th anniversary but are marking the round-number anniversary, as Mr Moskvin said in his opening remarks. During these years, the Alexander Solzhenitsyn House of Russia Abroad has made an invaluable contribution to the strengthening of ties between Russian compatriots and their historical homeland. The interesting and lovingly made film that has been just shown presents many facts testifying to this.   

I remember how the Museum of Russia Abroad was opened in May 2019. Already then one had the impression that we were achieving something tremendous, primarily those who are employed here under Mr Viktor Moskvin, along with a splendid contribution from Ms Natalya Solzhenitsyna.  Not only the employees of the House of Russia Abroad and the Museum of Russia Abroad contributed to the common cause but also dozens and hundreds of Russian compatriots, who still live in foreign countries and with all their hearts and all their deeds are helping to preserve the memory of our Fatherland.     

When it is said that the House and the Museum are functioning as a library, a research institute, an information bureau, a publishing house, and a cultural and educational centre, these are bureaucratic words that have already become hackneyed.  In reality, there are the hearts of caring people behind all of this, people, who, without any exaggeration, put their whole heart and soul into the common endeavour, doing this every day.     

The epoch of disunity is over and the House of Russia Abroad and the Museum of Russia Abroad are symbolising the end of this epoch.  I recall Mr Moskvin mentioning how our Ministry cooperates with the House of Russia Abroad. This is a long-standing friendship and collaboration. In 2016, when the Concept of Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation was being updated once again, it was amended with an area of focus related to the support for Russian compatriots living abroad. The concept was signed by President of Russia Vladimir Putin. In 2020, this provision was included in our Fundamental Law – the Constitution of the Russian Federation.  

The 7th World Congress of Compatriots Living Abroad that wound up on October 16 of this year has clearly demonstrated the determination to maintain the continuity of times. We see how hard it is for these people to keep in touch with their historical homeland in their countries of residence. Many Western countries are trying to create unbearable conditions for their continued public activities and elementary contacts with the Russian Federation. Therefore, it is all the more important that the Russian diaspora in all countries of the world is increasingly resolved to continue promoting this truly momentous collaboration.

The House of Russia Abroad and the Museum created on its basis are constantly expanding their projects. The Julia Reitlinger Room, Graphics Room, and the Lieutenant General Baron Alexei von Budberg Memorial Library will be opened today. All these events are attended by our outstanding compatriots, who regularly come from abroad.  I am pleased to have the opportunity to meet them from time to time and feel the living force, their craving for affinity with their homeland, and their living connection with it.  A number of steps are being taken to ease the resumption of citizenship and grant citizenship to the offspring of our compatriots, who by some quirk of fate have found themselves beyond the borders of this country. This is largely encouraged by the desiderata coming from our friends and compatriots living abroad. This group of buildings can be described as a venue for dialogue. There are also many other terms applicable to this wonderful place.  The main thing is that this compound helps to ensure the continuity of our centuries-old history, maintain the link of times and generations, and immortalise those who have entered heroic and great pages in the annals of our nation.   

I would like to thank all those who contribute to this cause. I see here many familiar faces, the faces of my friends. It is not my intention to name them all, for I fear to miss someone out. All of you are making an important contribution to the development of the Russian people, a contribution needed by this country and its younger generations.

 

 

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