Embassy / Press-service

Russian Ambassador's speech on the occasion of the National Day of Russia, June 12, 2013

Your Excellency President Abela,

Honorable Chief Justice,

Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr George Vella,

Honorable Members of Government,

President Emeritus,

Excellencies,

Members of Parliament,

Dear guests,

First of all I would like to welcome everybody and to extend to you my warmest thanks for joining us in the celebration of our National Day. This day symbolizes the historic democratic and economic transformations which began more than twenty years ago following the adoption of the Declaration of National Sovereignty on June 12, 1990.

Today we honor our homeland, the country of one thousand years of history and rich cultural heritage, the country which is home for hundreds of ethnic groups and followers of all the world’s major religions united in a single federal state. Today we are celebrating another year of our country’s sustainable development with an emphasis on modernization, economic growth and social stability. In the midst of the global economic downturn and financial crisis which have impacted all countries including ourselves Russia’s economy emerged as one of the most viable and competitive.

But the Russian people are also keen to see our country not only among the leading world economies but also as a modern state with strong democratic institutions and a developed civil society.

In the international arena the past year, as we all know, saw a great deal of turbulence at the global and regional levels. The world economy continued to experience all sorts of disturbing tendencies creating dangerous instability in the global markets.

The events which are unfolding in the Middle East and North Africa have highlighted the critical importance of the supremacy of international law in foreign affairs. Russia is unequivocal in its condemnation of any violence against civilians but it is no less resolute in its support for negotiated solutions between conflicting parties.

The situation in Syria is of growing concern. We continue to work with our international partners in the hope to break the vicious circle of violence in that country. The joint Russian-American proposal to convene Geneva-2 conference on Syria serves precisely that purpose.

Against the backdrop of such developments our foreign policy stayed focused on the need for a more vigorous search for collective responses to the threats and challenges facing the international community.

Strategic partnership between Russia and the European Union remains one of the pillars of our foreign policy. At the latest Russia-EU Summit which took place last week in Yekaterinburg both sides confirmed their resolve to further our cooperation aimed in the long term at forming a common economic and human space from the Atlantic to the Pacific. In this context, of crucial importance will be the Agreement on visa-free travel which would provide a powerful stimulus for economic and humanitarian interaction between Russia and EU countries, Malta among them.

Mr. President, the relations between Russia and Malta have deep historical roots and rest on a solid foundation of traditional friendship, and mutual respect between Russian and Maltese people.

Since the two countries established diplomatic relations forty six years ago the relationship between us has been growing in many areas including political and diplomatic interaction, trade and economic cooperation, cultural ties and people-to-people contacts.

We noted with satisfaction that following the General election in Malta last March the new Government has pledged to place Malta’s bilateral relations with Russia among the top priorities of its foreign policy. We share the desire of our Maltese partners to intensify our political dialogue at all levels of the two Governments. Russia welcomes any steps which would lead to a broader cooperation between our countries in the political, economic and humanitarian fields. Specific discussions on ways to upgrade our interaction are underway both here and in Moscow. Meetings at the ministerial level are expected to take place later this year.

These mutual efforts brought about the recent signing of the Double Taxation Agreement. We hope that after the ratification procedures have been completed in both countries this Agreement will serve as an important tool to bring our trade and economic relations to a new level.

Meanwhile, signs of a growing mutual interest by the business communities of our countries are already there. The past year was marked by the start-up of operations in Russia by a Maltese investment and consulting firm EMD and the opening by a Russian “green energy” company “Primesolar” of their Malta office right here in San Gwann. I am confident that such examples will only multiply considering the commitment our governments have displayed towards expanding business opportunities in our respective countries.

Malta’s warm-hearted hospitality is appreciated by the growing community of Russians who decided to set home in this country, by Russian children adopted by Maltese couples, as well as by Russian spouses of the Maltese. Such family ties can only strengthen the bonds of friendship and the shared feeling of affinity between our people.

Russia’s strong cultural and educational presence in Malta is certainly a source of our pride. Through the diverse activities of the Russian cultural center in Valletta Maltese people have been able to learn more about Russia’s history, literature, arts and traditions. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, Mr. President, for your invariable interest in these activities. Our deep appreciation goes to you for hosting the annual Celebration of Russian Christmas at San Anton Palace, a well-established tradition, which we hope will continue. We are particularly thankful for your personal support, Mr. President, for the restoration project at the Russian Chapel at San Anton Palace which will be culminated in several months by the inauguration of the artwork performed by Russian artists.

Educational exchanges provide another valuable asset for both our countries. Students from Russia become increasingly attracted by excellent educational opportunities in this country, particularly by Malta’s renowned English language schools. But what is even more important is that such exchanges also provide an opportunity for the young people of our countries to learn more about each other and start new friendships thus contributing to the spirit of mutual trust and friendly relations that our two countries have enjoyed.

In conclusion I would like to address my fellow countrymen in Russian.

Дорогие соотечественники. Сердечно поздравляю вас с нашим общим праздником – Днем России. Это действительно праздник, который объединяет всех россиян, где бы они не находились, всех, кто гордится многовековой историей, духовным и культурным наследием Отечества. Отмечая свой день рождения, Новая Россия уверенно смотрит в будущее. Рассчитываем на вашу поддержку и соучастие в выполнении стоящих перед нами амбициозных задач по созданию процветающего российского государства. Желаю вам здоровья и успехов в осуществлении всех намеченных планов.

С Праздником!

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May I propose a toast to the good health of President Abela, to the well-being and prosperity of the people of Malta and continued friendship between our two nations.

H.E. Dr. George Abela, President of Malta, delivering his speech.

Boris Marchuk Ambassador of the Russian Federation saluting H.E. Gina Abercrombie Winstanley, Ambassador of the United States of America

H.E. Boris Marchuk Ambassador of the Russian Federation saluting H.E. Cai Jinbao, Ambassador of China

Russian Staff in National Costumes

Liudmila Marchuk welcoming H.E. Faisal Sulaiman Ali Al-Musaileem, Ambassador of the State of Kuwait.

Director of the Russian Cultural Center in Malta Mr. Oleg Beglov (on the right) with his wife Victoria (on the left) and Russian artist Alexei Safiullin (centre)