Public Diplomacy Forum Dedicated to the Year of History Russia-Greece
Public Diplomacy Forum dedicated to the Year of History Russia-Greece
March 26, 2021 in Moscow at the Government of Moscow a large-scale Public Diplomacy Forum dedicated to the Year of History Russia - Greece and the 200th anniversary of the Greek National Liberation Revolution.
It was organized by the Russian Association for International Cooperation (RAIC) and the Friendship Association with the Peoples of Greece and Cyprus "Filia" with the support of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
It is worth noting that the Forum was the first official event on the Russian side in the framework of the Year of History Russia-Greece. More than a hundred leading Russian and Greek politicians, public and religious figures, representatives of science and culture took part in it in person and via videoconferencing.
Sergey Lavrov, Head of the Russian Foreign Ministry, stressed the importance of strengthening civil society contacts and the contribution of public diplomacy in the development of Russian-Greek cooperation.
Welcoming addresses were also delivered by Mikhail Shvydkoy, Russian coordinator of the Year of Greek-Russian History, and Olga Kovitidi, head of the group for cooperation between the Federation Council and the Parliament of the Hellenic Republic. Euripides Stylianides, a member of the Hellenic Parliamentary Select Committee on Hellenism and Diaspora, stated the need to raise the Russian-Greek relations to a new political level.
Former Speaker of the Greek Parliament Zoe Konstantopoulou spoke about the strength of the historical friendship between the Russian and Greek peoples. According to her the Forum dedicated to public diplomacy is a timely undertaking on the way to important political processes in the life of the peoples of our countries.
The renowned politician and public figure of Greece, Costas Isichos, former First Deputy Minister of Defence singled out the Russian Crimea as a possible "bridge of cooperation, entrepreneurship and dialogue between the countries".
Another Greek participant, journalist and publicist Perikles Grispos, spoke almost in unison. He expressed conviction that our nations will not allow external factors to undermine the friendly Russian-Greek relations. The journalist also noted the importance of deep historical roots such as the Greek colonies on the Black Sea, the ancient Taurida - now Crimea, its Byzantine period and the influence that ancient Greek thinkers had on shaping spiritual values in Russia.
There were many such speeches: despite the different characters of the Russian and Greek participants in the forum they were united by a common interest in maintaining and developing bilateral relations.
It is probably no coincidence that the former Patriarch of All Russia Alexis II once said that when the bells toll in Russia, their echo can be heard in Greece - and vice versa.
At the Forum of public diplomacy, the Director of the Fourth European Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Yuri Pilipson, was presented with a folder of unique archival documents to be donated to the Greek people by the Greece Friendship Society "Filia". These documents shed light on the early years of independent Greece and the political situation in the country following the assassination of its first ruler, Count I. Kapodistria. They include a letter and report on the socio-political situation of Greece from his brother Augustine to Nicholas I of Russia, dated 1838.
The representative of the Foreign Ministry was also presented with documents reflecting the fate of Greeks who fought against fascism during the Great Patriotic War on the territory of the Soviet Union.
The plenary session ended with the adoption of the address of the participants of the forum to the peoples, to the peoples' diplomacy of the Russian Federation and the Hellenic Republic on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the 1821 Revolution and the joint Russia-Greece Year of History. In the address the participants of the Forum called upon our peoples to cherish the history and long standing traditions of Greek-Russian friendship to ensure peace and stability in South Eastern Europe and Eastern Mediterranean, to continuously advocate a constructive interaction between the Russian Federation and the Hellenic Republic in the international arena, to strive to preserve our common cultural and civilizational identity and to protect our inter-state relations without dividing lines, barriers and sanctions.