Ad­dress of H.E. Mr. An­drey Bud­nik, Am­bas­sador of Rus­sia to Pak­istan on the oc­ca­sion of the Day of Rus­sia

The Diplomatic Insight - - Contents -

The Day of Rus­sia is the main na­tional hol­i­day of our coun­try, the state with cen­turies-old his­tor­i­cal and cul­tural tra­di­tions. Cel­e­brated an­nu­ally it sym­bol­izes the unity and fra­ter­nal friend­ship of many peo­ples build­ing to­gether their fu­ture within one Fed­er­a­tion. The his­tory of this hol­i­day goes back to the year of 1990 when the Supreme Coun­cil of the Rus­sian Soviet Fed­er­a­tive So­cial­ist Repub­lic adopted the Dec­la­ra­tion of State Sovereignty of Rus­sia. Af­ter the break-up of the USSR in 1991 our coun­try fi­nally em­barked on the path of be­com­ing a multi-ethnic demo­cratic state with a mar­ket econ­omy and launched fun­da­men­tal re­forms in the po­lit­i­cal and so­cial spheres. In the last two decades – a mo­ment by stan­dards of his­tory – we achieved sig­nif­i­cant progress mov­ing toward our goals. We got stronger as a coun­try, as one na­tion. In the world com­mu­nity Rus­sia is be­ing per­ceived as a dy­nam­i­cally de­vel­op­ing demo­cratic state which com­mands au­thor­ity in the in­ter­na­tional arena. A per­ma­nent mem­ber of the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion is re­spected for its con­sis­tency in sup­port­ing the prin­ci­ples of de­moc­ra­ti­za­tion of in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions, for its re­li­a­bil­ity as a part­ner in ad­dress­ing the global chal­lenges and threats hu­mankind is faced with – be it the fight against ter­ror­ism or en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues. Since the birth of the in­de­pen­dent Rus­sia our main achieve­ment has been our strength­en­ing of the econ­omy and en­sur­ing steady in­crease in cit­i­zens' qual­ity of life. The deficit of food and con­sumer prod­ucts typ­i­cal for the late 1980s was liq­ui­dated. Nowa­days there is prac­ti­cally no un­em­ploy­ment. A vast mid­dle class of around 30% of the pop­u­la­tion emerged which is rapidly turn­ing into a lo­co­mo­tive of the na­tional econ­omy. Th­ese are peo­ple who stand firmly on their feet, pro­vide for them­selves and give jobs to fel­low cit­i­zens. To­day the level of con­sump­tion and va­ri­ety of con­sumed goods of 80% of Rus­sians are three times higher than those in the USSR. For ex­am­ple, ev­ery sec­ond Rus­sian fam­ily owns a car. Peo­ple have suf­fi­cient house­hold ap­pli­ances. Though not so fast as de­sired, hous­ing con­di­tions are im­prov­ing – ow­ing to, in­ter alia, such mar­ket mech­a­nism as­mort­gage lend­ing. A high level of ed­u­ca­tion is main­tained in Rus­sia. 57% of our cit­i­zens aged 25-35 have higher ed­u­ca­tion. Be­sides Rus­sia such a high rate is achieved in three coun­tries only: Ja­pan, SouthKorea and Canada. At that, our ed­u­ca­tion is of high­est qual­ity. Our univer­si­ties (Moscow State Univer­sity, Moscow In­sti­tute of Physics and Tech­nol­ogy, Bau­man Moscow State Tech­ni­cal Univer­sity, etc.) and their grad­u­ates, spe­cial­ists and sci­en­tists are known and in de­mand world­wide. The solid ed­u­ca­tional and sci­en­tific po­ten­tial al­lows Rus­sia to look ahead with con­fi­dence. Due to the bal­anced eco­nomic pol­icy of the Pres­i­dent and the Gov­ern­ment we man­aged to pull through global fi­nan­cial crises of 1998 and 2008 with min­i­mum losses. Rus­sian peo­ple prac­ti­cally did not feel any eco­nomic tur­bu­lences in 2008. More­over, un­like many de­vel­oped coun­tries, we kept high growth rates of the GDP, raised pen­sions and car­ried out wel­fare pro­grams at the height of the cri­sis. The past year was spe­cial for our coun­try. The Par­lia­men­tary elec­tions in De­cem­ber 2011 fol­lowed by the Pres­i­den­tial polls in March 2012 pro­vided con­ti­nu­ity of power ex­tremely im­por­tant for our coun­try. By vot­ing for the rul­ing “United Rus­sia” party and again re-elect­ing Vladimir Putin as Pres­i­dent the Rus­sians ex­pressed their full con­fi­dence in do­mes­tic and for­eign poli­cies con­ducted by the Gov­ern­ment. Carte blanche was given to the con­tin­u­a­tion of re­forms. There is no doubt that un­der the “new old” pres­i­dent the Rus­sian na­tional pol­icy will be fo­cused on a hu­man, stan­dards of liv­ing and se­cu­rity of our fel­low cit­i­zens and com­pa­tri­ots. Rus­sia will con­tinue to pursue an ac­tive for­eign pol­icy based on the prin­ci­ples of re­spect for sovereignty and ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity of other states as well as non­in­ter­fer­ence in the in­ter­nal af­fairs of its part­ners. One of the pri­or­ity ar­eas for ap­pli­ca­tion of Rus­sia's diplo­matic ef­forts will re­main Asia where the epi­cen­ter of global po­lit­i­cal pro­cesses has been shift­ing in re­cent years. As for South Asia its ma­jor taskwill be fur­ther en­hance­ment of­mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial co­op­er­a­tion and part­ner­ship with the Is­lamic Repub­lic of Pak­istan. It was un­der Vladimir Putin that our re­la­tions with Pak­istan ac­quired their own, truly in­de­pen­dent value. Rus­sia at­taches great sig­nif­i­cance to its re­la­tions with the Is­lamic Repub­lic of Pak­istan. Your coun­try oc­cu­pies an im­por­tant place among Rus­sia's for­eign pol­icy pri­or­i­ties which is de­ter­mined by its geostrate­gic po­si­tion in the South and South­west Asia re­gion di­rectly ad­ja­cent to the bor­ders of the CIS as well as by its high au­thor­ity in the Is­lamic world. Rus­sia and Pak­istan are neigh­bors in the

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