Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
I would ask for your attention to listen to the national anthem of the Russian Federation.
I am glad to welcome you to the Russian Permanent Mission to the EU on the occasion of the Russian Diplomacy Day which is celebrated annually on 10 February.
It would not be a gross overstatement to say that the diplomats gathered here today, representing some 50 countries and a number of regional organisations in Brussels, do not just observe but rather directly take part in the tectonic shifts in international relations.
All of us here are united by the ambition to build a fairer world order. We are willing to create a multipolar world where each country gives priority to its own sovereign interests and is independent in making decisions and determining the vector of its development.
Alas, the events of recent years have demonstrated that not everyone is ready for this transformation, and some are trying to counteract it by any means available, even illegitimate.
Instead of attempts to address emerging trade and economic differences, we see sanctions and protectionism.
Instead of commitment to dialogue, we hear about international isolation.
They invent diverse new formats of "being friends with certain actors against other players” and "whoever is not with us is against us".
They find room for blatant blackmail and threats within diplomacy.
They pass mere ultimata off as "peace formulas".
They ignore any opinion different from their own.
Unbiased scrutiny of global developments is giving way to double standards. Sometimes it even comes to supporting terrorist actions.
Russia has fully experienced all these manifestations of the " dictate policy".
The West no longer hears and listens to the voice of the Russian diplomacy.
Exactly two years ago an event took place which, as the time passed, we may now call a milestone in Russia-EU relations – on that day the EU officially informed us that it rejected our proposals on European security. Everyone knows too well what it happened next.
Some Western diplomats, including high-ranking officials, are calling for a "strategic defeat on the battlefield" or "preparing for war". I think you will agree that such statements are utterly inappropriate for a person in our profession.
If this kind of rhetoric persists, its advocates will inevitably find themselves on the sidelines of the ongoing transformation processes in international relations.
I would like to emphasise that Russian diplomacy, guided by the updated Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation, will continue to counter the West's attempts to ensure its own security at the expense of others and to make them hostage to its geopolitical games.
At the same time, we will promote equal relations with constructively minded partners and help build an infrastructure of interstate relations that is invulnerable to the pressure of those who, as in the days of colonialism, want to live at the expense of others.
I am confident that by combining our efforts, we can change the world for the better.
This goal demands that we, diplomats, keep our temper and avoid going to extremes, respect the opinions of others and be forward-looking, seek compromise solutions, and focus on mutually beneficial and equitable cooperation.
Thank you for your attention.