H.E. A. Churilin, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation
Exactly 20 years ago, the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) was adopting its declaration on state sovereignty. Ever since the time when Russia took the path of democracy, building a socially-orientated market economy, the life of our multi-national people has suffered major qualitative transformations. Over the past few years, our people pooled efforts to lay down a robust foundation securing a certain ascending evolution. The Russian endorse all efforts towards building a modern society, strengthening state efficiency and developing a genuine civil society, developing a free business environment capable of meeting current social needs, fighting corruption and terrorism and strengthening the role played by Russia in the international arena. A task of primordial importance is the conversion of economic achievements into social programmes. Even when face to face with the crisis, the Russian leadership chose not to step down planned social programmes such as housing, healthcare development, parental and child support, assistance for the poor, retired citizens and other categories of population. Russia enjoys an ever-growing global authority also as a result of the fact that we have accurately appreciated international trends and of our active foreign policy. We witness an unfolding process of building a multicentric world. We must identify common denominators for interaction in the framework of the international community currently facing exceptional challenges – proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, international terrorism, organized crime, drug trafficking, global poverty, food scarcity, epidemics, climate changes and many more. Russia is constantly taking a stance in favour of global disarmament. A new Russian-American treaty on strategic arms reduction was signed in Prague, on April 8, with the parties committing to their respective reducing of strategic weapons. By concluding the treaty, Russia and the US not only consolidated their own security, but also the security of the entire international community. At the same time, the effectiveness and viability of this historic instrument directly depend on ceasing the qualitative and quantitative development of the US ballistic missile defence systems. The modern world is underlain by a trend of consolidating regional and sub-regional leadership. As far as Russia is concerned, the trend becomes manifest primarily in consolidated processes of CIS integration. We are happy to ascertain a rebirth of the authentic and mutually-beneficial partnership between Russia and Ukraine.
In Russia, we attach great importance to deepening bilateral co-operation with the European Union. In addition, we must also note the positive trend in our bilateral relations with main European countries such as Germany, France, Italy, Spain, as well as with a whole range of other states.
The complex realities of the new Europe in the post-conflict era make it possible to raise European awareness of the need to build a truly common home for all of us. Unprecedented opportunities are opening in that respect and their utilization for the sake of Euro-Atlantic region unity lies at the core of President Dmitri Medvedev’s initiative to advocate the conclusion of a European security treaty. It is also time we liquidated Cold War vestiges and provide level security conditions to all countries in the Euro-Atlantic region.
What we propose is a positive and unifying international agenda. We are ready for broad co-operation with our international partners. The new Russia does not regard anyone as an enemy and chooses to pursue its policies on pragmatic bases. We are open for unprejudiced cooperation, free of any ideological stereotypes.
Like so far, we give special attention to our neighbours in Eastern Europe, including Romania. Our peoples are tied by good, multi-lateral relations, with similar mentalities and cultures, lifestyles, and majority Orthodox belief being the principal things that unite us. We cannot forget our common victories and battlefield losses either. The festive laying of wreaths at 43 Russian military cemeteries in Romania on the 65th anniversary of the Victory Day in May of this year showed that the memory of the Russian-Romanian brotherhood of arms has survived and is still close to the Romanian people.
We can identify numerous and diverse opportunities of co-operation between our countries in a number of different directions. It may be true that the crisis has caused bilateral trade to slightly go done, but early 2010 figures did indicate some improvements.
The world is going through a period of re-evaluations and transformations. Many things have changed, new issues emerge, and new solutions are being suggested. However, despite the genuine kaleidoscope of events surrounding us, we have an obligation to hand on the torch of friendship and mutual sympathy to the young generations of Russians and Romanians.