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Ambassador's Speeches

SPEECH
OF MR ANATOLY A. POPSUEV,
CHARGE D’AFFAIRES a.i.
OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
IN THE REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA,
AT THE OPENING OF THE EXHIBITION
“MOSCOW – THE HEART OF RUSSIA”
AT THE BOTSWANA NATIONAL MUSEUM

Gaborone                                                                                            June 04, 2007

Esteemed Host, Mr Steven MOGOTSI, Deputy Director of the Botswana National Museum,

Respected Guests,

Representatives of the Botswana Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Botswana in particular,

Members of the Diplomatic Corps,

Representatives of the Botswana University and other Educational Institutions,

Business and Media Representatives,

Fellow Countrymen and Women,

Dear Friends,

Allow me to be short with protocol procedures since I would like very much this cultural event to be seen as a friendly meeting of those who retain good memories of Moscow after business, education or tourist trips to Russia, who plan
to make such trips and who have interest in Russian culture and history.

So I want to greet all of you by saying: “Welcome to Moscow, the Heart
of Russia!”

Russia is a vast country, indeed. And even for many Muscovites there
is another city, town or a place in the countryside, may be thousands of miles from the capital, which is dear to one’s heart and loved very much as a place of birth or for another reason. But we all agree with the great Russian poet Alexander PUSHKIN, that Moscow is a very special place for every Russian. Even to the word MOSCOW the heart of a Russian reacts in a special way.

In Moscow we have been trying a lot to preserve history. But the times change, and so does the face of Moscow. Like the whole of Russia, the capital is keeping with the pace of time without loosing its historical and cultural identity.

Moscow has become a modern megapolis with over 12 million inhabitants. More than ever before Moscow in recent years has become the true centre
of political, economic, scientific and spiritual revival of the Russian Federation.

Being the capital, it cannot represent here the whole of Russia with its great distances, different national and natural characteristics of the many republics and regions. But Moscow does reflect most of the features which are attributed to Russia as the country and to the brave, hardworking and hospitable peoples of Russia, which is, I might remind at this point, a multinational, multicultural and multiconfessional Federation.

Here, at the gates of Moscow, not once foreign invaders were stopped, driven away and defeated, often to the benefit of other European peoples and to the whole world, as it was the case in the Second World War.

But it was also in Moscow that so many times we have celebrated International Youth and Student, Cinema and other cultural Festivals and sport events, including the Olympic games in 1980. For so many years Moscow has been the centre
of attraction to ballet, music, theatre and art lovers from all over the world!

As any photo exhibition, this one is able to give only a glimpse of Moscow,
a kind of insider’s look into the Russian soul.

There is not, for example, a picture of the tallest in Europe TV tower or the famous Moscow subway – the Metro, considered the best in the world.

On the other hand, we have got a nice supplementary exposition devoted
to children – the future of Moscow.

Since the exhibition is not an encyclopedia, for those who are interested, more information is available in the Internet. I would like to recommend some popular links, like the Russian President’s site, which provides you with an opportunity
to visit the Kremlin palaces and cathedrals, some museum sites or the educational services site for those wishing to get university education in Moscow or in Russia.

In modern times Botswana is not so distant from Russia. Moscow is only a few hours flight and a few Internet clicks from Gaborone!

So, Welcome to MOSCOW!

But, before I finish, once again, many thanks to Mr S. MOGOTSI and his team from the Botswana National Museum, to all who helped to make this exhibition and this meeting possible.

It means, THANK YOU ALL!

*   *   *

Here are some useful sites in the Internet:

www.kremlin.ru/eng

The President of the Russian Federation; the Kremlin

www.metro.ru

Moscow Metro

www.tretyakov.ru

State Tretyakov Gallery

www.museum.ru/gmi

Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts

www.mid.ru

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, some useful tips for foreign visitors and a tour of the Ministry’s main building (one of the famous Moscow skyscrapers)

www.mos.ru

The Government of Moscow;
General Information; History

www.moskwa.ru/guide/street/volhonka1e.html

Volhonka, a street in Moscow

www.edurussia.ru

Russian-African Centre for University Services

www.rudn.ru

People’s Friendship University of Russia