The President of Russia Vladimir Putin received letters of credence from 17 newly-appointed ambassadors of foreign states.
As per tradition, the ceremony took place in the Alexander Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace.
Vladimir Putin said in particular:
- I would like to emphasise that Russia is open to constructive partnership with all countries without exception. We do not intend to isolate ourselves nor do we have any prejudiced or hostile intentions towards anybody and expect that our partners will adhere to the principles of equality and mutual consideration of interests in their relations with Russia.
- The new Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation, approved the other day, sets forth these positions. It formulates a system of views on our national interests in the complicated and rapidly changing world and describes the main goals, tasks and key areas of Russian diplomacy. The main point is that, as an independent state, Russia pursues a multi-vector foreign policy driven by its national priorities and the awareness of its special responsibility for maintaining peace and security at the global and regional levels.
- Our country will continue performing a historically unique mission aimed at maintaining global balance of power and building a multipolar international system, as well as ensuring conditions for the peaceful progressive development of humanity on the basis of a unifying and constructive agenda.
- Syria is a reliable partner and ally in the Arab world, as well as on the international stage. Russia helped the people of Syria in a time of need to defend their sovereignty and independence in the face of aggression by international terrorists. The recent official visit by President al-Assad took place in an atmosphere of friendship, mutual understanding and mutual respect. We reached important agreements to further expand bilateral cooperation in various spheres.
- Russia’s relations with the United Mexican States date back more than 130 years and rely on traditions of mutual respect and mutually beneficial cooperation. We appreciate Mexico City's balanced approaches to resolving global problems through multilateralism, non-interference, compliance with international law and the peaceful settlement of disputes.
- The friendship between Russia and Zimbabwe is time-tested. Our country supports the Zimbabwean people in defending their sovereignty, especially in the light of the sanctions war unleashed against that republic, unprecedented sanctions pressure. Our mutual interests include deepening trade and investment cooperation, developing industrial cooperation, and implementing joint commercial projects in culture and education.
- The Republic of Abkhazia is our strategic ally and next-door neighbor. We will celebrate important dates this year – the 15th anniversary of Russia’s recognition of Abkhazia’s independence, the establishment of diplomatic relations and the signing of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance. Russia will continue fulfilling its commitments on the comprehensive socioeconomic development of Abkhazia.
- Unfortunately, relations between Russia and the United States, which directly affect global security and stability, are going through a deep crisis. It is rooted in fundamentally different approaches to the formation of the modern world order. Madam Ambassador, I do not wish to upset the positive atmosphere of the ceremony for presenting the letters of credence and I know that you probably won’t share my opinion, but I must say that the use by the US of such foreign policy tools as support for the so-called color revolutions, including support for the state coup in Ukraine in 2014, ultimately led to the current crisis in Ukraine and exacerbated the deterioration of Russia-US relations.
But we have always supported the development of Russia-US relations exclusively on the principles of equality, mutual respect for each other’s sovereignty and interests, and non-interference in internal affairs. We will continue following these principles in the future as well.
- In the presence of the distinguished ambassadors of Equatorial Guinea, Zimbabwe and the Republic of Guinea, I would like to note that the second Russia-Africa summit will be held in St Petersburg in July. We are making major efforts to get ready for this important event and drafting a rich and substantial agenda for the summit and the economic and humanitarian forum that will be held alongside it. We will be happy to see the leaders of all African countries in St Petersburg, including the heads of regional organisations.
- The head of the EU delegation here probably shares the opinion that, to our great regret, relations between this association and Russia have deteriorated greatly in recent years. We see the reason for that in the fact that having abandoned its main and original mission and function of promoting economic cooperation and integration in Europe, the EU has initiated a geopolitical confrontation with Russia. It did initiate a confrontation with our country.
I would like to express hope that the actions that damaged our relations can remain in the past, and we will do everything we can to build relations in the proper way that is suitable both for Russia and the economies of the EU member countries. We hope that the logic of mutual cooperation will eventually prevail.
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