Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the ceremony of laying wreaths at memorial plaques

Friday, 09 February 2018 13:25

Colleagues, friends,

We traditionally hold a wreath laying ceremony on Diplomats’ Day to commemorate all our colleagues, as well as our partners from the foreign trade sector who have perished during the Great Patriotic War, died in the line of duty or were victims of political repressions.

We don’t lay wreaths only at the Foreign Ministry building in Moscow. The ministry leadership and staff also lay wreaths at our comrades’ graves in the capitals of other countries. These events are organised at a high level in accordance with the rules. We will continue doing this to the best of our ability.

This year we will mark many important events. Just recently we marked the 75th anniversary of victory in the Battle of Stalingrad, which marked a tipping point in the Great Patriotic War and even the entire Second World War. This year we will also mark the 75th anniversary of two other important events that happened in the autumn of 1943: the Moscow conference of the foreign ministers of the Soviet Union, the United States and Great Britain and the Tehran Conference of the Big Three, who discussed and largely coordinated the fundamental principles of an international organisation to be known as the United Nations.

The experience of allied relations and cooperation to which I am referring, as well as the feeling of a common enemy and a common threat encouraged countries on the opposite sides of the ideological barrier, countries with different world outlooks to join forces to attain a historic victory.

I am convinced that we must make use of this experience now. Regrettably, there is a tendency to bury many of the achievements we have attained through joint efforts. The renunciation of collective efforts and the striving to promote a self-serving and unilateral agenda and to settle one’s problems at the expense of others can have predictably bad consequences similar to those of the shameful Munich Pact in 1938.

We will never refuse an honest discussion. We are aware of the need to join forces against terrorism and other threats facing the humankind. We will work to strengthen our partner, working and comradely contacts with all countries that share our views and that put peaceful coexistence and the creation of conditions for their efficient development over geopolitical games. We will always remain open to close and honest interaction based on equality, mutual respect and a balance of interests.

I would like again to thank you for attending the ceremony held to commemorate our comrades ahead of Diplomats’ Day.

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