President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good evening, friends,
I sincerely congratulate you all on MGIMO University’s 70th anniversary. I congratulate the faculty and staff, the students and the alumni. Congratulations! (Applause.) I congratulate all those who are proud of their connection to this famous university which, for some, has become a lifelong home.
MGIMO is rightfully called the Russian school of diplomacy and a keeper of traditions. It was created during a period when our nation destroyed Nazism in a very difficult battle and firmly took its place among global leaders, beginning to actively participate in determining the international agenda and resolving key global and regional issues. And this feeling – the feeling that there is a great power behind you, that you are protecting the interests of your people – was passed on from generation to generation, helping find civilised, mutually acceptable outcomes to the most difficult questions and problems.
Our diplomats – staff at the Foreign Ministry headquarters, embassies and other delegations abroad – have proven their high level of professionalism many times. The majority are MGIMO graduates. Right now, at a time when, unfortunately, the conflict potential in the world is growing, old disagreements are escalating and new crises are being provoked, I must say that all of you are acting with a true knowledge of your profession, competently, effectively and with dignity – just as you were taught at MGIMO. (Applause.) It is within the walls of the university that you gained the fundamental, deep knowledge that allows you to effectively hold the most difficult talks and always rise to the occasion.
MGIMO brings together experience from many Russian academic schools, including in the fields of country studies and linguistics. It is no accident that your university is a global leader in terms of foreign languages taught here.
I want to use this opportunity to note the long-standing and successful work by the university’s leadership. MGIMO’s large research and teaching staff was able to identify its development vector in new conditions, find a reliable balance between its rich traditions and the necessary upgrade of the teaching process.
Today, MGIMO is not just a major educational centre. It is engaged in extensive research in the fields of international relations, global economics, law and political science. The expert proposals drafted here are often used in making government decisions on many foreign policy issues, for which I thank you very much. (Applause.)
We greatly value the fact that in addition to the enormous corps of diplomats, MGIMO graduates include many prominent statespersons, well-known lawyers and economists. The university has also educated talented journalists, successful educators and businesspeople. Most importantly, everyone is trying to make their input into Russia’s development, strengthening its prestige, and promoting widespread international cooperation.
MGIMO was and remains a prestigious school that trains top-level specialists for many foreign nations as well. And I know that a large cohort of graduates from foreign nations is present here today, so let me also congratulate you on this anniversary and express my gratitude for being here with us today. (Applause.) One in five MGIMO graduates are foreign citizens representing more than fifty nations.
Also present here are participants from MGIMO’s second Global Summit. I am confident that you will always be true to the invaluable traditions of friendship, solidarity and mutual support that are intrinsic to your university. (Applause.)
Modern Russia is an open nation that has been conducting peace-oriented policy for centuries. We are determined to actively expand our ties with foreign partners, protect Russian interests and the ideals of peace, good and justice at international platforms, at the UN and within all influential regional organisations. This means that the need for the highly qualified international affairs experts that MGIMO trains will grow, just as before.
I do not doubt that the university’s staff will handle the challenges before it successfully and maintain its reputation as one of the Russian higher education flagships.
I congratulate you again. I want to wish you a proper celebration of this anniversary: with no losses or international scandals, given that we have foreign graduates present here. (Laughter.)
Congratulations! I wish you all the best!