Sergey Lavrov: «MGIMO has become renowned as the main institute for training experts in international relations»

Sergey Lavrov: «MGIMO has become renowned as the main institute for training experts in international relations»

2 September 2019

September 2nd, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov came to MGIMO to celebrate the start of the new academic year. In his traditional speech, the minister spoke about the main issues on the international agenda, shared with future diplomats his insights on Russia’s foreign policy and international relations and took questions from the audience. As is the custom, the Rector of the Diplomatic Academy, Alexander Yakovenko, participated in the event.

The meeting was opened by MGIMO Rector Anatoly Torkunov, who expressed his best wishes to students on Knowledge Day. «This year we are celebrating the 75th anniversary of this University. This is a momentous occasion for us, and those of you who enrolled this year are a special generation of students. I would like this intake to excel, first as talented MGIMO students and then as remarkable professionals» noted the Rector.

Among this year’s freshmen, there are students from 79 Russian entities and from 35 different countries. The Rector directed a few words directly to the new foreign students, wishing them success in learning all about Russia, mastering the language and making new friends.

In turn and adding to the Rector’s congratulations, Sergey Lavrov emphasized the fact that being an MGIMO graduate and having the diploma of «the main institute for training experts in international relations» opens great opportunities but is also a serious responsibility. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs depends on the contribution of graduates to strengthen international stability, and on the expertise provided by MGIMO faculty.

«It is in these difficult times, when world politics are undergoing major changes, [...] that we must put our heads together, realize our intellectual potential, and in this endeavour we count on the contribution of MGIMO and the Diplomatic Academy.»

Describing the current international situation, Sergey Lavrov underlined the fact that Russia, as the largest Eurasian power, will continue its mission of reinforcing international security. The Foreign Minister also remarked that Western countries need to come to terms with the major geopolitical changes having occurred in the world, and take into account the new centers of economic, financial and political power; rather than add to the current tensions. Any attempt to deny or oppose these changes is anti-historical, he noted.

The Head of the Foreign Ministry also spoke of Russia’s foreign policy priorities and principles, its observance of the fundamental norms of international law, its desire to reach agreements based on a balance of all parties’ interests, its contribution to rethinking strategic stability and arms control, and aspiration to work jointly with neighbours and allies. «We are always willing to participate in an equal dialogue in different formats. We should have a common objective: not letting the international situation worsen and become chaotic», the Minister underlined.

Concluding his speech, Sergey Lavrov answered questions put to him by the freshmen on a myriad of topics including the Iranian nuclear program, the discrimination faced by Russian journalists in Europe, the UN International Human Rights Council’s work before IT technology, and security in the digital age.

The discussion ended with a question about the new generation of diplomats’ role in strengthening world stability, to which Sergey Lavrov responded by expressing the wish that today’s students, children of the 21st century, not let history repeat itself, by relying on facts and sound arguments. The Minister also encouraged foreign students in the future to promote friendly relations between countries, peoples and nations.

After the official ceremony, Sergey Lavrov, accompanied by Anatoly Torkunov, went on a visit of the new student hostel currently under construction and located on MGIMO campus.

— See the MGIMO web-site for russian version