Public figure and head of the Greater Chernobyl Cause charity organisation Fiona Corcoran (Ireland), public figure and philanthropist Yoko Nagae Ceschina (Japan), and researcher from the Stockholm Institute of Transition Economies Karl Lennart Samuelson (Sweden) were awarded the Order of Friendship.
Director of the Centre for Russian Culture Studies at the Ca’ Foscari University Silvia Burini (Italy), Rector of the Danubius Institute, Head of World History Chair, Faculty of Philosophy, at the Comenius University in Bratislava Miroslav Danis (Slovakia), General Director of the Pushkin House Russian Culture and Education Centre Sun-Min Kim (Republic of Korea), and CEO of Berhan International PLC medical clinic Tebebe Yemane Berhan (Ethiopia) were awarded the Pushkin Medal.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,
Congratulations to you all on National Unity Day.
This holiday stands for the loyalty of our people to their homeland. This indissoluble bond, this responsibility for their Fatherland have always served as the basis for Russia’s independence and sovereignty, while patriotism and love for our country have held our multi-ethnic nation together for centuries.
We inherited these powerful and sincere feelings from our parents and grandparents. Loyalty to our rich spiritual and cultural heritage is the true essence of this holiday. There is good reason why it was timed to coincide with the key event in our history, when the people put an end to the tragic Time of Trouble.
The anguish they felt for their country, for the intestine feuds, weakness of authority, for the betrayal of their Motherland united people of different ethnicity and religion. They formed militia and liberated Moscow from occupation, thus saving their homeland from strife and determining the future of Russia as a great and powerful state.
”Today’s holiday restores the continuity, making us feel part of Russian history and its great culture that bring together people all over the world.“
Over four centuries have passed, but the dramatic events of those times remain a lesson for us, serving as an example for all generations and a rule for us all – a rule that says we should preserve and protect our national interests. Failure to bear in mind these national interests may lead to disintegration and ruin of the country; its sovereignty is of the same fundamental value as freedom and democracy.
This year we have been through some tough challenges. Our people responded to those challenges with consolidation and a spiritual and moral upheaval, just as it did many times in the past.
Striving for justice and truth has always been held high in Russia. There is no threat that can force us to forsake our values and ideals.
Today’s holiday restores the continuity, making us feel part of Russian history and its great culture that bring together people all over the world.
Traditionally, this reception is attended by our compatriots and foreign citizens who make a great contribution to strengthening multilateral ties with Russia. We are always happy to see them and I would like to express our gratitude to each and every one of you.
We highly value your public awareness efforts, your attention to developing and promoting the Russian language and culture, as well as your contribution to bringing together people and nations.
Once again, I would like to extend my greetings to the citizens of our large country, to all who are here in this hall and to all our compatriots in other countries. My congratulations and best wishes to all of you!
Let me once again congratulate you on our national holiday, and I congratulate our friends who have received Russian state decorations.
I would like to note that you are making an enormous, truly invaluable contribution to the development of relations between peoples, a contribution to mutual relations and mutual understanding.
It is only through culture, through literature, music and history that we can help people understand each other better and live in peace and happiness.
Thank you very much. All the best.