Russia - Ghana relations/

SPEECH BY H.E. AMBASSADOR OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION AT THE RECEPTION ON THE OCCASION OF RUSSIA'S NATIONAL DAY (RUSSIA DAY - JUNE 12, 2004)

Thursday, June 10, 2004, 6.30 - 8.30 p.m.

Your Excellencies,
     Distinguished Guests and Friends,
     Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all tonight on the occasion of the Russia's National Day.

On this day we are honouring our Motherland, a country with a thousand-year-long history and a unique legacy, which has united on a vast expanse a multitude of peoples, territories and cultures.

Past few years were for Russia those of intense and difficult creative work. And these efforts yielded obvious results both in political and economic fields, materialized in the strengthening of the State, positive dynamics of socio-economic processes in the country. The economic situation has changed in a fundamental way. Only in 2003 Russia has reached a GDP growth rate of 7.3 percent and its growth since 1999 has amounted to almost 30 percent. Russia's international positions have also been greatly strengthened over this period. Today our foreign partners see in Russia an important participant of the world processes, a constructive and predictable partner, effectively contributing to equilibrium on the international scene and actively involved in the search for solutions to the most acute global and regional problems, including those of fighting terrorism and other global challenges. The multivector foreign policy of modern Russia, in which the various geographical thrusts complement each other, is yielding real and practical return in many regions of the world.

More and more increasing attention is paid to Russia's relations with the African continent. The President of the Russian Federation Mr. V.V.Putin repeatedly stressed Russia's invariably principled course aimed at strengthening the equal and mutually advantageous co-operation with the states of the continent, and expressed the hope that the rich potential of Russian - African partnership would be realized. And the best proof of this statement that we can witness today is the invigoration of a political dialogue, the constructive interaction of Russia and the states of the African Continent on the international arena, the progressive development of our economic and other cooperation. Moreover Russia reaffirms its readiness, together with other members of the international community, to continue to assist the African countries in creating conditions for their sustainable socio-economic development.

Russian people cherish our long-standing, friendly relations with Ghana. We know very well the great impact of this country on stabilization processes in West Africa, its role in the settlement of conflict situations in the African Continent as a whole and we are ready to continue strengthening our co-operation and to explore new spheres for prospective joint work.

In the past twelve months we were witnesses of quite a number of important events in the sphere of Russia - Ghana co-operation. Among them - the visit of the Russian parliamentary and business delegation to Ghana, the establishment of Ghana - Russia business association, the formation of Ghana - Russia parliamentary group, the business trips to Ghana of the delegations of many Russian companies. Just a few days ago, in the very beginning of June, we were witnesses of another important event in the sphere of Russian - Ghanaian co-operation - the visit of the Ghanaian parliamentary delegation headed by the Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Mr. Peter Ala Adjetey to Moscow and Saint-Petersburg. Moreover, Russian Government increased the number of scholarships granted to the Republic of Ghana at the expense of the Russian Federal Budget up to 30 for the academic year 2004/2005. And one more fact that clearly reaffirms the Russian Government's intention to consistently develop relations with the Republic of Ghana is that this January we began to construct a new Complex of the Russian embassy in Accra. We hope that these important developments will add new dimensions and give strong impetus to the relations between our two countries.

I am convinced that the relations of friendship and co-operation between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Ghana will continue to develop for the benefit of the peoples of our countries, in the interests of peace and stability in the African Continent.

Dear Guests, Friends!

Now I would like to invite you to join me in a toast to the health of His Excellency Mr. John Agyekum Kufuor, President of the Republic of Ghana, to the well-being and prosperity of all Ghanaians, to further strengthening of friendly and cordial relations, which so happily exist between Russia and Ghana and the peoples of our two countries.

Thank You.

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