President Vladimir Putin: Dear friends!
All of you here today no doubt know very well the Russian saying that goes: ‘You can’t cut off the head and then lament the hair’. We’ve long since lost the Soviet Union, it would seem, and so one could ask, what’s the point now in worrying about our common humanitarian space and in lamenting the common foundation we had built in this area? But the thing is that this common humanitarian foundation never did disappear. It is still with us today and it is more relevant than ever.
We feel a pull towards each other today. Why is this? What is happening? We all know, of course, that we live in independent countries and we all feel pride in even the most modest achievements of our peoples. But we have also become acutely aware that, though our peoples now live in the independent states that make up this vast Eurasian area and enjoy all the benefits that independence brings, we nonetheless have a common socio-cultural heritage. It is here, in this socio-cultural heritage, that lie our considerable competitive advantages in the modern, global world, and it would be foolish not to make use of them.
This is all more so as our competitive advantages are based on crucial factors for the modern world’s development. What are these factors? Culture, education and science. And it is to discuss precisely these and other issues that you are gathered here today in Moscow.
Thank you for taking this position. I wish you success.