Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
I am glad to welcome you all to our Mission on the New Year’s eve.
Today we have a good opportunity to take stock of the past year in a friendly setting.
This year has a special significance for Russian diplomacy, as we have reviewed the Concept of Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation. Our regular contacts have enabled those present here to get acquainted with the provisions of this document. It focuses on building a future world order, as well as on forging relations with the countries that you, our distinguished guests, represent. In order to implement the Concept, Russia appeals to join efforts to create a system of international relations that would guarantee reliable security and equal opportunities for the development for all states, regardless of their geographical location, size, demographic, resource and military capacity, or political, economic and social structure.
The year 2023 has also been rather special for our Mission. As the EU institutions stopped any interaction with us, we were able to focus more on contacts with representatives of the local diplomatic corps – both bilateral and multilateral, such as this reception. And, you know, this everyday work turned out to be much more interesting for us and more useful for our country than trying to decipher the "otherworldly reality" in which the EU continues to stay. The platform of the Russian diplomatic mission in Brussels has become a place for an open and informal exchange of views between representatives of those countries that favour co-operation over confrontation. Countries that are truly committed to the establishment of a just multipolar world and believe that Russia, a distinct state-civilisation, will be the driving force behind this objective process.
This is not the first time that our country is ready to make a decisive contribution to the renewal of the system of international relations. It is no coincidence that to mark the Day of Military Glory celebrated in Russia yesterday, 5 December, we showed you the Oscar-winning “Moscow Strikes Back” documentary, originally called in Russian "Rout of the German troops near Moscow". The outcome of that battle, as well as the subsequent combats of the Great Patriotic War, created the ground for joining forces, under the UN Charter, to maintain international peace and security and to develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.
And I would like to express my particular gratitude to all you, representing the countries that stand by the efforts of Russian diplomacy on a broad range of international fora, including in Brussels.
We highly appreciate the contacts with you that were established and actively maintained in the outgoing year. We are looking forward to continuing our interaction.
Under the chimes of the Spasskaya Tower of the Moscow Kremlin, when Russians traditionally make their New Year wishes, I would like to wish all of us health, good luck and prosperity in 2024. Let the New Year restore mutual respect, common sense and equitable dialogue as the guiding principles of international diplomacy!