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Your Excellency, Mr. Michail, Ivanovich KALININ, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Seychelles, and Mrs. Tatiana KALININA, Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Evening.

It is truly a pleasure for me to be among you all today to celebrate Russia’s Day.

On this auspicious occasion, on behalf of the Government and People of Seychelles, it gives me great pleasure to extend my heartfelt congratulations and sincere wishes of further progress and prosperity to the Russian people.

Today is a day for the Russian people to take look back and take stock of achievements made over the years, but also look to the future.

I therefore speak to you today with deepest respect and admiration for Russia's successes in ensuring solid economic growth, national unity, social stability and progress while at the same time enriching mankind with its diverse heritage and expertise in a variety of fields such as in literature, the arts and science.

This, of course, would not have been possible without the strong determination and indomitable will of the Russian Government and the people of Russia itself.

I will therefore also like to seize this opportunity to reiterate my warmest felicitations to President Putin for his recent election as President of the Russian Federation.

I am also delighted that as we celebrate this year the thirty-sixth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Seychelles and Russia, we can boast of a growing and well-developed multifaceted relationship in various fields.

Our strong, and growing, relationship, demonstrates the enormous success possible when friends reach out with the open hands of partnership and respect.

Despite the differences in size, Seychelles and Russia have shown themselves to be partners that can deliver tangible results of mutual benefit.

Our bilateral relations have been strengthened by the respect which both our countries share for international stability and security, the peaceful resolution of conflicts, a commitment to the promotion of a more equitable distribution of power and influence in the global political and economic systems, the primacy of international law and the centrality of a stronger and more effective United Nations.

These principles and values continue to inform our connectivity in many fields of joint co-operation such as the long-standing cooperation we share in such fields as education.

In terms of culture we salute the the participation of the Russian naval officers in the 2012 Carnival International de Victoria, and we look forward to their continued engagement in our annual melting pot of cultures.

The recent signing of the MoU between the Attorney General’s office in Russia and that of Seychelles also bears testimony to the good relations we have developed in the legal field, and our determination to work together to counter the increasingly global nature of a number of criminal activities.

Of course, it is impossible to discuss the relationship between Seychelles and Russia without mentioning the passion for sports that links the two countries. Many of our sportsmen have benefited from various trainings offered by Russia.

We hope that exchanges in such fields will be strengthened in the years to come considering the prominent role that Russia is now playing in the world of sports with for example its successful bidding for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. And we are also very pleased to note that Russia will also be hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics.

I would also like to congratulate Russia in winning its first match in the 2012 European Championships and express our sincere best wishes for today’s match with Poland.

We also welcome the increased role played by the business community from Russia in the economic development of our country. The trade linkages between our countries have become increasingly important with Russia now figuring amongst the top countries in terms of forecasted FDI inflows in Seychelles. And the number of tourists from Russia ia also continuing to increase in an encouraging manner.

Top-level contacts are also intensifying, while both our countries seek to strengthen consultation and coordination in international and regional affairs based on our shared values.

Such a common vision of the future is particularly important these days where countries have to adapt to a fast-changing world- to meet the economic, social and environmental challenges that we face such as climate change, sustainable development and piracy.

In this regard, we highly appreciate Russia’s clear and unequivocal support in the fight against piracy. The patrol of the region by Russian ships and the regular calls made to Port Victoria by Russian naval warships is a clear demonstration of Russia’s unwavering commitment in this fight.

As you can see, we have a broad agenda of work with Russia, which reflects the way in which our economies, our societies and our strategic concerns are increasingly intertwined.

As we remove barriers to trade and travel between our two countries, I am confident that the fundamental interest in co-operation will increase.

We look forward to further realizing the potential that exists between our two countries. Building on the friendship that we share and making the most of the great opportunities for growth.

I cannot end without saluting the work of Ambassador Kalinin for his untiring efforts to ensure our cooperation goes from strength to strength and to Mrs. Kalilina for her admirable work with the ‘Diplomatic Spouses Association’ and to wish her the best of luck at the helm of the organization.

Your Excellency, ladies and gentlemen, please join me in raising our glasses:

To H.E President Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, to  prosperity of the people and the government of the Russian Federation, and to the friendship between our nations.

I thank-you.

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