President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, friends,
I am sincerely grateful to you for being together with us here in Moscow to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Victory and pay tribute to our common history, the veterans, and all who gave their lives in the fight against Nazism.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Mr Nazarbayev on his re-election to the post of President of Kazakhstan. We already had the chance earlier to congratulate the President of Uzbekistan [Islam Karimov] on his re-election. I hope that Russia and Uzbekistan and Russia and Kazakhstan will continue to develop their relations as actively as they have been over these last years.
Kazakhstan holds the CIS presidency this year. The CIS states have organised a comprehensive programme of events to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Great Patriotic War, which encompasses around 60 big projects. They include holding military parades in the CIS countries’ capitals and the hero cities, organising the Victory Relay along the CIS external borders, and republishing the most memorable memoirs, literary works and essays with the support of the CIS organisations.
These common events pursue the goal of reminding all of our citizens, especially our young people, of course, about the courage and heroism of those who defended our homeland, and about the decisive contribution the Soviet Union’s peoples made to defeating the enemy and saving Europe and the world from Nazi enslavement.
One important area of our joint work is to support initiatives to immortalise the memory of the war on the international stage, above all through the UN and the OSCE. The coordinated efforts of the CIS member states and friendly countries made possible the adoption of the UN General Assembly resolution of February 26, 2015, and the Declaration of the OSCE Council of Foreign Ministers of December 5, 2014, on the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.
The CIS Heads of States’ Message to the peoples of the CIS and the global public on the Victory anniversary is particularly important. This document underscores the importance the unshakeable friendship and great patriotism of our peoples, who fought together for this common victory, and expresses our aspiration to honour the memory of the fallen and maintain in a decent state military burial sites and memorials.
Unfortunately, we often see today attempts to politicise or rewrite the results of World War II. I think that we all understand and realise that this is a case of resorting to unworthy tactics. We must do our utmost to preserve the historic legacy of Victory and not allow a resurgence of Nazi ideology and the ideas of racial and religious intolerance. We all have an unpayable debt to the veterans and it is our duty to give them our constant care and attention and be attentive to their problems and everyday needs.
This year is the Year of Veterans in the CIS. Our countries have taken additional measures to improve veterans’ socioeconomic situation, material conditions, and medical care, and it is important now of course to continue this work.
The decision to issue anniversary medals commemorating the 70th anniversary of Victory is a symbol of our respect for the generation of victors. This was done successfully and on time. In total, around 115,000 medals were issued and given to veterans living in the CIS countries and beyond our borders.
Colleagues, this summit’s informal nature gives us the chance to discuss a broad range of issues of mutual interest. Next year, we will mark the CIS 25th anniversary. This is a milestone in the CIS work and a good occasion to take an objective look back at the results we have achieved together and outline the directions for the medium and long-term future.
I want to stress that Russia seeks to continue making the CIS countries’ multifaceted and mutually advantageous cooperation more effective. I am sure that this is completely in the strategic interests of our countries and peoples.
Thank you very much for your attention.