DIPLOMACY

Valery Kuzmin, Ambassador of the Russian federation to Romania: Day of Russia 2018

This year, Russia celebrates its National Day shortly after the re-election for the new presidential term of Vladimir Putin, who signed last May a decree on national goals and strategic objectives for the development of the Russian Federation until 2024. Major country’s goals include improvement of living standards of the citizens, increase of the economic growth rate above the world`s average, so that by the end of the period Russia will be among the top five largest world economies and by 2030 will join the group of states with life expectancy exceeding 80 years.

Russia is quite capable of achieving these goals, that has clearly been demonstrated by the recent successful implementation of large-scale projects, many of which are truly unique in global practice.

A vivid illustration became the completion in April of construction of the world’s first floating nuclear power plant “Akademik Lomonosov”, with a maximum electric output of up to 80 megawatts. It is capable of satisfying lighting and heating needs of a city with a population of 100 thousand people. For the first time an eco-friendly and highly mobile energy source has been built, which becomes especially important for the Arctic region.

Opening ceremony of the automobile part of the unique Crimean bridge (19 km long) was held in May. In response to energy, water and transport blockade of Crimea imposed by Kiev, Russia was able to provide a smooth road connectivity option for the Peninsula with the mainland Russia. Such a large-scale and complex project was implemented in a short time (slightly more than 2 years). The railway part of the bridge will be also put into operation next year.

The construction of a largest eastward gas pipeline “Power of Siberia” is still going on. The uniqueness of this project comes from the fact that it is being implemented in extreme climatic conditions, including swamps and permafrost, wetlands, mountainous and seismically active areas. Today, more than 1790 km — 83% of the total length of pipeline – have been completed.

In 2018, first construction stage of the “Vostochny Cosmodrome” — the first Russian civil spacecraft launching site – is scheduled to be completed. It is designated to provide Russia with full access to outer space, including human space exploration programs. During the implementation of this project, a devastating blow to corruption was dealt: as a result of a number of criminal proceedings started in 2016 against CEOs of contractor companies on charges of massive fund embezzlement, 17 people were sentenced for 5-12 years in jail, and the state was assigned with the compensation of 5.1 billion rubles.

In March this year, in his address to the Russian Parliament, President Vladimir Putin presented the most modern types of Russian weapons that have no analogues in the world: the “Sarmat” missile complex, underwater drones, a cruise missile with a nuclear propulsion unit, the “Kinzhal” (“Dagger”) aviation missile system, laser and hypersonic weapons. Such complex weapons can be successfully developed and produced only by a state enjoying highest level of fundamental science and education development, with a strong research, technological, industrial potential and capacity.

Russia does not threaten anyone, does not intend to attack anyone and is not going to take anything away from anyone. Its consolidated military power is a reliable guarantee of its own independent development and security, as well as peace on our planet. We have repeatedly proposed to the Western countries to establish a joint framework of equal and mutually respectful dialogue on global stability and security, nevertheless nearly all Russian initiatives have been so far rejected. However, our country does not accept an approach to a dialogue being shown by those who, like some leaders of NATO, the EU and the United States, is seeking for “a position of strength”, pursuing “deterrence of Russia” and etc.

This year Russia hosts one of the international mega sporting events – FIFA football World Cup. The long-awaited festivity for millions of fans will be held from June 14 to July 15, 2018. Matches will take place in 12 modern sports arenas located in 11 Russian cities. For the first time a number of innovations will be introduced during the tournament, including the advanced system of “video replay” and “FAN ID” (the number of issued documents has already approached a million).

The main “heritage” of the championship should be the growth of the popularity of football among thousands of Russian kids, some of whom will become new star athletes like Pele and Yashin, Maradona and Bobrov.


 

Ambassador Kuzmin, optimistic: Russia – Romania relations positive overall, despite various obstacles and complications

 

Russia – Romania relations have been through all sorts of problems, obstacles and complications, but are positive overall, Russia’s Ambassador in Bucharest Valery Kuzmin told a press conference on Thursday.

Commercial relations have increased and this trend is expected to continue this year too. Last year they stood at 4 billion dollars, the diplomat said.

He also spoke about the US military presence in Russia’s vicinity and about Russia’s perception of this state of play, stressing in this context the need for Romania and Russia to resume a substantive political dialogue.

For us to better understand the notion of ‘red lines’, we must resume a substantive, meaningful political dialogue. So far we have not succeeded in doing so, but we don’t lose hope, Kuzmin said.

He announced the first visit, within soon, after many years, of a parliamentary delegation of the State Duma Friendship Group, (…), on the invitation of the Parliamentary Group of Friendship with the Russian Federation, and voiced hopes the visit will be a modest yet important step towards the resumption of political talks.

We see that there is a drastic difference of perceptions – the perception of the government, that is mainly of the Romanian political leaders, and our perception, because Russia’s national security cannot be viewed outside global stability and under no circumstances can we be condemned for strengthening our defensive potential on national territory, Kuzmin said.

Using a map on which both American and Russian military bases in different countries were marked, the diplomat spoke about the global US military presence, referencing also the NATO battalions in Estonia’s bases with a rotational presence.

Rotational presence refers to the military personnel, but the equipment remains there, and the presence is in fact permanent, Kuzmin said.

Tackling also the US anti-missile systems, the Russian Ambassador said that the US had claimed and offered assurances they were not against Russia. They said they were targeted at Iran, at North Korea, but not at Russia, Kuzmin said. We replied that we cannot ignore the deployment of such systems at our borders, which would spoil the global security balance. Whether we like it or not, since the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear disasters (…), the whole international stability system has been based on the principle of parity as regards nuclear deterrence. Creating a global anti-missile system would break such a balance, the Russian diplomat said.

Valery Kuzmin went on to mention a possible avenue of dialogue. The only solution which our President also reiterated today is to sit down for talks, not speak from a position of force or with the intent of discouragement, but simply sit down together and try to design a new, modern global arrangement, he said.

The diplomat said that Russia-US relations are currently at a low. I think you have heard this many times from our President, from the Spokesperson as well – they said we do not remember our relationship with the US being worse than now, Kuzmin said.

The press conference on Thursday preceded the reception offered in Bucharest to mark the National Day of Russia.

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