Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at a wreath laying ceremony at memorial plaques on Diplomats’ Day

February 10, 2016

Dear colleagues,
Dear veterans,
Friends,
Today, we are observing Diplomats’ Day. By tradition, we start off with a ceremony dedicated to the memory of our comrades who were killed on the battlefields of the Great Patriotic War in the line of duty and to those who succumbed to political reprisals. Eternal memory to them. We will always remember them.
This year, we will mark an important anniversary related to the Great Patriotic War – the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Moscow. One hundred and sixty three officers of the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs volunteered for the home guard that eventually stopped the Germans. Seventy two of them gave their lives on the soil of Smolensk. Last year, their heroic feat was immortalized with the placing of memorial plaque on our old building of the People’s Commissariat on Kuznetsky Most. It will serve as a model of valour, selfless service to the Motherland and lofty spiritual and moral principles.
We not only remember our comrades but also endeavour to ensure continuity in our work, making full use of the experience left by our predecessors, especially considering that the situation in the world today calls for the maximum possible mobilisation of the efforts of our veterans and our youth to act in the best traditions of Russian diplomacy, i.e., creatively and proactively to generate new ideas that are in sync with the demands of the times and uphold the principles of justice in international relations. Today, there are not many countries that try to follow these principles. Therefore, our role in upholding justice in international relations, which is traditional for Russian diplomacy, is particularly needed today.
I congratulate all the personnel of the Foreign Ministry, our territorial subdivisions and our missions abroad on Diplomats’ Day. My deepest respect to our veterans. I wish you and your families all the very best. My best wishes!
Thank you.