President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr President, veterans, ladies and gentlemen,
This is a special moment today, for me and for the Slovak President. We are decorating those who fought for our common victory, a victory that was won at a very high price. It is symbolic that this ceremony is taking place here in Bratislava at the moment that this city celebrates the 65th anniversary of its liberation from Nazi troops.
This victory truly did come at a terrible cost. Here in this soil lie 60,000 Soviet citizens and a large number of Slovaks, who fought hand in hand with our soldiers for their independence and for victory.
This is something we must never forget, despite the many years that have passed since then, and despite the fact that many countries are starting to give differing interpretations of these events. We will do everything to preserve forever the truth about the victory and the friendship that were forged during those days.
It is our duty, of course, to hand on this memory and this friendship to our young people, to those who will continue to develop the ties between our countries, build a united Europe and act as guardians of our continent’s peace and security.
Once more, on behalf of Russia, I wish good health to all those decorated today. We are very pleased to be together with you here today and we hope that you will remain with us a long time yet to share with us your stories.
Once again, I congratulate all of you on this great victory.
PRESIDENT OF SLOVAKIA IVAN GASPAROVIC (translated from Russian): Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, recipients of decorations,
It is a great honour to be together with you here today, Mr President, to decorate veterans of the battles to liberate Slovakia and Bratislava as we celebrate the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II, the end of this terrible and monstrous period in humanity’s history.
Mr President, we will soon lay wreaths in memory of those who did not live to see this day, those who died so that we could live in happiness and peace.
Today’s young generation cannot even imagine at what cost their freedom, happiness and peaceful life were won.
Esteemed veterans, as President Medvedev and I present you with these decorations, we remind our young people too that history has known the horrors and threats of war, and that today’s world is also not free from these threats.
We award these decorations to those who took up arms and fought so that we could rejoice at our lives today, extend a hand to each other and work together for the good of future generations. Thank you once again.
Honour and glory to you!