Sergey Lavrov Opens Academic Year at MGIMO

Sergey Lavrov Opens Academic Year at MGIMO

1 September 2021

As is tradition, September 1st Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov opened the new academic year at MGIMO. Mr Lavrov congratulated the MGIMO freshmen, gave his comment on relevant issues of the international agenda and answered the questions of future experts in international relations.

Before the statement of the Foreign Minister, the freshmen were addressed by Rector of MGIMO and member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Anatoly Torkunov. He told the audience about the opening of Novy Vzglyad School and the results of the admission campaign: "This year's admission campaign broke all records: the average score of students admitted to study free of charge was 96.7, while the ones enrolled on a contract basis on average had 86.8."

The Rector expressed the hope that the MGIMO freshmen would be worthy students. "Back in the 16th century, Francis Bacon said that knowledge is power, and today I would say that knowledge is the crucial power, a power that requires constant updating. I would like to promise you that we will provide this updated knowledge by involving great experts, practitioners and scholars, so that you will always be at the cutting edge of innovation, breakthroughs and new knowledge. A guarantee that this will be the case is our Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its head Sergey Lavrov, who follows our work very closely and has been opening the academic year at the University for many years now. This is a great honor and a great motivation for us," stressed Mr Torkunov, giving the floor to the Minister.

Welcoming the first-year students of the University, Mr Lavrov said: "As always, I am delighted to be here on September 1, and not only on this day, of course, since we hold events here at other times of the year as well. But September 1 has special importance, since this is Knowledge Day. First-year students get to feel the university spirit, and meetings like this help us streamline this experience and are sure to benefit students in their studies. I am certain that you will not regret choosing this university. MGIMO graduates find work in a wide variety of spheres, from public service and research to business and journalism. We are proud that our alma mater has such a great reputation."

The Foreign Minister stressed that MGIMO constantly improves its activity and expands its partnership networks. He pointed out that we need to be in step with the times, improve the quality of knowledge that is recognized around the world. Mr Lavrov expressed his satisfaction with the fact that MGIMO traditionally attracts international students: "This is an important channel for maintaining humanitarian, educational and people-to-people ties. In today’s world these ties have special importance."

The Foreign Minister described the foreign policy situation, focusing on the pressing issues of the international agenda. "Our Western colleagues have little appetite for talking to us on equal terms. They persist with their demands that we change the way we behave and act the way they view as being correct. This is a dead end. We are open to a frank, constructive, mutually beneficial dialogue, taking into account each other’s interests. It is along these lines that we maintain dialogue and promote cooperation and partnerships with the overwhelming majority of countries around the world." Sergey Lavrov also took numerous questions from the students.

The event was concluded with the signing of an agreement between MGIMO and the Institute for Systems Programming of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The document was signed by Rector Anatoly Torkunov and Director of the Institute, member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Arutyun Avetisyan.

After the lecture, Minister Lavrov spoke to the sixth grader Alexander Lunin from Armavir, a finalist in the All-Russian contest "Bolshaya Peremena" (Big Break).