Brussels, European Parliament, December 4, 2017
I cordially welcome the organisers and participants of the 11th European Russian Forum, “EU 2017 and Russian Revolution 1917: Lessons not Learned”. Your meetings at the European Parliament, which have become a good tradition, make a useful contribution to the consolidation of the EU-Russia inter-social dialogue. In the current difficult situation on our shared continent, such efforts aimed at maintaining trust and mutual understanding among peoples, overcoming prejudices and stereotypes, and ultimately, at restoring mutually respectful cooperation between Russia and the European Union, are of particular importance.
The topic of the current forum is very relevant. The Russian revolution, which was a major turning point not only in the history of our country but also of all humanity, gave a powerful impetus to political and socio-economic transformation around the world, and to a large extent determined the trajectory of global development in the 20th century.
A profound and comprehensive understanding and objective, depoliticised study of past events – especially those that we cannot give a simple and straightforward assessment of – should help us avoid mistakes in the future. I am confident that the constructive discussions during this conference will contribute to this in every possible way.
I wish you fruitful work and all the best.