Russia Day 2021
President Vladimir Putin congratulated Russian citizens on Russia Day
I am delighted to welcome you to the Kremlin. First of all, I would like to congratulate everyone who has gathered here in this hall and all Russian citizens on Russia Day.
This holiday symbolises our Fatherland’s contemporary development, as well as its continuous centuries-old path, the grandeur of its history, endeavours, victories and achievements.
Many generations of our ancestors created this immensely rich legacy. Their labour and military feats and their infinite devotion to our Motherland evoke respect and pride, a striving to be worthy of their heroic destinies, to preserve and assert the values that have been bequeathed to us and which now have tremendous significance for our entire movement forward.
We can see this in the achievements of today’s scientists, cultural workers, public activists and top-level professionals who are united by sincere love for their work and a desire to benefit our Motherland.
2021 has been declared the Year of Science and Technology in Russia. This is a sign of our deep gratitude to Russian scientists who have been the glory of our country at all times and made a colossal contribution to the humankind’s progress in many areas of knowledge.
The power of Russian science and the Russian academic school was on full display last year, when people all around the world were waiting for scientists to save them from the coronavirus pandemic, and our researchers succeeded, even triumphed, we can say: in the shortest possible time, they developed an effective vaccine from COVID-19: Sputnik V. This made it possible for Russia not only to ensure that the vaccine is available for Russians but also to provide vital help to other countries. This is our country’s responsibility as a leading scientific power before the whole world.
Message from Yury Materiy, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Sri Lanka
It is a great honour to address the people of Sri Lanka on our major national holiday – Russia Day which we celebrate on the 12th of June. It gives me pleasure to congratulate all the compatriots as well as our Sri Lankan friends on this solemn occasion.
The 12th of June marks the establishment of the present-day Russian Federation, which stretches from Kaliningrad to Kamchatka and the Kuril Islands, from the northern Arctic seas to Sevastopol and Crimea. Russia is a country with a millennia-long history, unique legacy and culture. Strong patriotic sentiments and respect for the Motherland always helped our people to endure all tribulations and respond to any challenges.
Russia Day is a symbol of free and future-oriented Russia with such core principles of our development as freedom, rule of law, successful economic growth, consolidation of friendship of the peoples living in the country, utmost promotion of democracy, strengthening of our foreign policy. The aforesaid has laid the basis for the inviolable sovereignty of our State and established a reliable foundation for the protection of our national interests.
Russia is pursuing an independent multifaceted policy and is consistently working towards reducing international tensions and strengthening the democratic principles of communication based on international law. The overriding trend of global development is the process of the formation of a multipolar world, as well as new centres of economic and financial power.
The turbulent development of international relations compels Russia to strengthen its position on the international arena. Russia does its best to maintain all aspects of global and regional security and puts much effort into the formation of flexible target-oriented alliances with Russia's active involvement, such as G20, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and BRICS. Our country is open for cooperation based on principles of equality and mutual respect. It is a high time for collective, collaborative efforts to find adequate solutions to common challenges, especially the COVID-19 pandemic, which became a crush test for international relations both at the level of individual countries and multilateral associations.
The objective of Russian foreign policy is to contribute to the creation of sustainable world system based primarily on the equality of all participants and non-interference in internal affairs, while maintaining the supremacy of international law in the world arena, declaring full support for United Nations’ decisions and avoiding their unilateral and arbitrary interpretation.
The «centre of gravity» of the global growth is rapidly moving towards Asia-Pacific region, including South Asia. These regions have become one of key priorities of Russia's foreign policy. Russia is not only a European but also an Asian country, due to its geographical position, history, cultural and religious links with the East, thus becoming a natural bridge between the East and the West. Russian support was one of the determinant factors contributing to the victory of national liberation movements in Asia.
The Russian-Sri Lankan relations provide a good example of sincere friendship and mutual understanding that can exist between two countries. We share similar approaches to key international issues such as fighting terrorism, ensuring central role of the UN, settlement of regional and local conflicts, and many others.
Russia extended its full support to the Sri Lankan Government during the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council, made every effort to oppose the anti-Sri Lankan Resolution. Russia voted against this Resolution.
Our economic relations have been developing at a good pace, reaching new heights in 2020. The trade turnover recorded an increase of 24% and amounted to almost $500 million. A good opportunity to discuss prospects of bilateral cooperation, including in the sphere of economy and trade will arise during the virtual meeting of the Russia-Sri Lanka Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation which is to be held in June, this year.
One of major examples of our ever-growing partnership is the working visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Mr. Sergey Lavrov to Sri Lanka on January 14, 2020. The Russian Foreign Minister met with the President
H.E. Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa and Foreign Minister Mr. Disnesh Gunawardena. The visit of the Russian Foreign Minister is a major event that will give further impetus to the bilateral cooperation and will contribute to our time-tested friendship.
Our interparliamentary dialogue is an efficient instrument of strengthening Russian-Sri Lankan ties. On April 7 the revival meeting of the Sri Lanka – Russia Parliamentary Friendship Association took place at the Sri Lankan Parliament, which has given a boost to relations between our legislative bodies.
Russia and Sri Lanka are cooperating closely on battling the coronavirus pandemic. The first batch of Russian Sputnik V vaccine has been delivered to Sri Lanka on the 4th of May, the second – on May 27. Several more batches are expected for delivery in the near future.
Russia and Sri Lanka have always valued the importance of education for empowering the future generations. Every year we expand the educational opportunities for Sri Lankans by providing scholarships. This year the Russian Government has allocated scholarships to 40 Sri Lankan citizens.
On April 1, 2021, Russia reopened its borders for Sri Lanka, which provides an opportunity for Russian airline companies and Srilankan Airlines to restart flights. It will contribute to the development of humanitarian relations, encouraging the tourist flow between Russia and Sri Lanka.
I am confident that through joint efforts we will continue enhancing our cooperation in political, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres for the benefit of our peoples.