Date: Tuesday, 14 June 2022
Your Excellency, Mr Osman Saleh - Minister for Foreign Affairs of the State of Eritrea,
Excellences, Ambassadors and Chargés d'Affaires, representatives of the UN Agencies,
Esteemed Ministers, and representatives of the Government of Eritrea and People’s Front for the Democracy and Justice, civil society and religious organizations, and media.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished guests,
Yesterday most of us attended a very beautiful and well-organised Festival of Indian culture. I would like to express my gratitude to the Indian Ambassador, H.E.Mr. Subhash Chand and his spouse for such an amazing event. Thank you very much.
Today I am very glad to welcome all our guests, friends and partners to the celebration of the main holiday of my country - the Day of Russia.
On June 12, our Great Country is celebrating its birthday and we, as citizens of Russia, are proud of the history and culture of our big home. The country's history shows the strong spirit of the Russian people, its power and strength.
Day of Russia is a symbol of independence, national unity and freedom. This day is rightly called one of the most important national holidays. It unites all those who are proud of the heroic past of our Motherland, who look to its future with confidence, who are passionately and responsibly building its present.
This day was not chosen by chance.
This holiday is one of the youngest one, which began with the adoption of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Russia on June 12, 1990 by the First Congress of the People's Deputies of the RSFSR (as the Russian parliament was then called). Exactly one year later, on June 12, 1991, the first President of Russia, then still part of the USSR, has been elected. These two dates became the starting point for the establishment of the first and the main holiday of modern Russia in 1992.
June 12 in the history of Russia is a date that marks the beginning of cardinal transformations. They were in demand by the time, but, like any radical reforms, they became very difficult, sometimes dramatic for the state and our people. Today, we remember these times as if they were in the distant past, although not much time has passed.
The leadership of our country, and first the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, is pursuing a balanced domestic, national and foreign policy. It is based on the ability to appreciate the past, our great history, and the inextricable centuries-old connection between generations, the best traditions and the richest heritage of our people. As a result, we have managed to maintain the continuity of generations, including in art, science, and literature.
This is confirmed by the significant dates in Russian history that we are celebrating, for instance, this month.
Less than a week ago, on June 6, we marked the 223rd anniversary of the world-famous Russian poet with African roots, Alexander Pushkin. Together with the Eritrean Association of Graduates of Soviet/Russian Universities, we held solemn event in Asmara, at the monument to the famous poet, dedicated to his birthday, as well as the International Day of the Russian Language. I would like to thank the members of the Association for participating in the event and to welcome those of them who are with us today.
Three days ago, on June 9, another significant historical date was celebrated in Russia - the 350th anniversary of the birth of the first Russian Emperor, the creator of the Russian Empire and the Russian fleet, Pyotr Alekseevich Romanov, better known as Peter the First or Peter the Great. Here you can see a small exposition dedicated to this famous statesman, who led Russia to the Baltic and North Seas and “cut a window to Europe”.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I cannot fail to mention the tragic date of June - June 22, which is the Day of Sorrow and Remembrance in Russia and was established in memory of the treacherous attack on the USSR by Nazi Germany in 1941, and the colossal losses suffered by our people in this most bloody war in history.
As it seemed to us, our grandfathers and fathers dealt with the Nazi reptile and fascism will never raise its head, but history has shown that we were too kind and philanthropic and did not completely uproot the Nazi infection. Today in Ukraine, we are reaping the rewards of both our mistakes and the purposeful work of Western Antichrist-Russophobes who instilled in our brother Ukrainians the fascist-Nazi ideology, anti-Russian sentiments and set the Ukrainians against the Russians to solve their hegemonic tasks.
Most countries and peoples already understood this provocative policy, but the Collective West, and primarily Europe, hypnotized by the Anglo-Saxons, continues thoughtlessly, to the detriment of itself and the Europeans, to drive itself into a corner, not realizing that Washington’s goal is both its economic strangulation and complete dependence on the American economic machine.
Russia is a self-sufficient state. Its commands respect throughout the world. We are not afraid of any kind of restrictions and sanctions. As in the days of the Great Patriotic War, we say to ourselves and to the whole world: Our cause is just. The enemy will be defeated. Victory will be ours.
…We are very grateful to our partners, friends and allies who, together with us, stand shoulder-to-shoulder against the pressure and hegemonic ambitions of the West, although they are also under unilateral, illegal and unprovoked sanctions. Here, I would like to mention such countries as China and Belarus, but, first of all, our Eritrean friends – staunchly, boldly and fundamentally defending their own approaches to the world system and the world order.
Eritrea is the only country in the world that supported us in connection with our special operation in Ukraine at all international platforms, primarily at the UN and the UN Human Rights Council, and continues to do so. Our permanent offices in New York, Geneva, in other cities-headquarters of international organizations, are on a regular contact and coordinate their actions.
During the talks between the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Russia and Eritrea S. Lavrov and O. Saleh in Moscow on April 27 this year. Sergey Lavrov noted that Russian-Eritrean relations continue to develop progressively. The approaches of the two states on topical issues of the modern global and regional agenda are close or coincide. And I am sure that we will not deviate from this path.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Africa, in general, is of strategic interest to Russia. We are strengthening our presence on the continent, improving relations, and building up economic and other types of cooperation. Russian President Vladimir Putin, in particular, said about it, during a meeting with the Chairman of the African Union, President of Senegal Macky Sall on June 3 of this year.
Our trade with Africa is growing. This year, even in the first months of this year, it has grown by more than 34 percent. The President assured Chairman of the African Union that we are striving to develop multilateral ties with African countries and will do everything to make this process gain momentum.
The role of Africa in the international arena is also growing. African countries make up one third of the members of the UN. Africa did not support the imposition of sanctions against Russia because of our special military operation in Ukraine, and did not follow the lead of the West. At the same time, Africa was divided almost by half in condemnation and not condemnation of Russia's actions in Ukraine.
At the same time, the recent visit to Russia by the Chairman of the African Union, some leaders and foreign ministers of the African countries indicate, if not support for Russia, then at least understanding by the African community of the current political situation.
I hope and I am sure that our relations with Africa will develop. We are confidently moving towards the organization of the Second Russia-Africa Summit, keeping in mind the success of the first summit and thinking about further mutually beneficial and productive relations.
Today is also a Grate Religious Orthodox Holiday – one of the twelve major Christian Holiday - Holy Trinity Day. I would like to congratulate all Orthodox believers with this very important event and wish them good health and prosperity.
I thank you for your attention and would like to propose a toast for a free and prosperous Russia, for a free and prosperous World, and for the well-being of our citizens, citizens of Eritrea and all people around the world!
On June 12 The Russian Embassy in Eritrea held a reception on the occasion of the Russia Day.
The event was attended by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Eritrea O. Saleh, advisers to the President of Eritrea, ministers and representatives of the government, the ruling party, public organizations and the media, and the Association of Graduates of Soviet/Russian Universities. The event was also attended by heads of diplomatic missions of friendly countries.
The guests were presented with an exhibition of Russian folk crafts, as well as an exposition dedicated to the 350th anniversary of the Russian Emperor Peter the Great’s birth.