The message reads, in part:
“This year, the forum is being held in St Petersburg and is dedicated to a major landmark event: the 75th anniversary of the complete liberation of Leningrad from the Nazi siege. The courage of the residents and defenders of the city will always serve as an example of selfless love for one’s Fatherland, indomitable will and greatness of spirit. Having endured enormous hardships, they did not give up, did not lose faith, but withstood it all and won.
The fraternal unity of the peoples of the Soviet Union who thwarted Nazism is our common historical and moral heritage, a foundation for our friendship, good-neighbourly relations and mutual respect. It is our duty to cherish the memory of the heroes who fought for the freedom and independence of the Fatherland, and pass it on to future generations.”