Mr. Chairman, Mr. Secretary General,
Members of the Parliamentary Assembly, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to express my deep gratitude to the PACE Chairman Mr. CAVUSOGLU for his invitation to address the audience from the high rostrum of the Assembly.
It is very significant for us because the current PACE session is taking place on the eve of the anniversary of one of the greatest events in the history of the 21st century that defined the future and the face of modern Europe as well as the entire world - the 65th anniversary of the Victory over Nazism.
The Council of Europe became the material embodiment of the strongest protest of the peoples of Europe who had looked into the abyss prepared for the European civilization by the ideology and practice of Fascism. The disaster of World War II became a powerful catalyst for the Europeans who came to the realization of the need to build a common home that would ensure reliable protection of human rights, success of democracy, rule of law and resolution of social problems.
The implementation of the European project over the last 60 years, which includes the Council of Europe, would not be possible in principle if not for the huge human sacrifices made by all the peoples of Europe and North America, but first of all by the peoples of the Soviet Union.
Russia has never divided the victory into its own victory and that of others. The war was won by all allies of the anti-Hitler coalition, and on the 9th of May we will honour their veterans on the Red Square. However, we, the Russia, will never forget that the Soviet Union with its territory, cities and villages took the burnt of the Hitler invasion. Three-quarters of the German troops have been sent to the Eastern Front and were crushed there.
For the future of Europe it is important that in those years the victors of the "brown plague" rose above ideological differences. Communists, monarchists and anarchists, representatives of left and conservative forces sacrificed their lives selflessly in the fight against Fascism.