Address of the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Commonwealth of Australia Grigory Logvinov
I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to Mr. Eden Paki on his election as President of the Australia Russia Dialogue (ARD). I am confident that it will boost the process of this organization’s revival, which is utterly important for bilateral relations of our countries.
As we know, the establishment of the ARD was initiated by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov in January 2012 in the framework of the high-level agreements aimed at intensification of the Australian-Russian contacts in the trade and economic sphere, support and promotion of the Russian commercial interests in Australia as well as the Australian high-tech business in Russia. The Australian-Russian Dialogue had successfully carried out its mission until the interaction in a number of areas was suspended under the pressure of the political conjuncture.
It is comforting to admit that ARD is gaining momentum due to the tireless efforts of its not numerous, but still highly energetic and professional staff. I firmly believe that under the leadership of Mr. Paki the ARD will successfully restore its potential for promoting the interests of the Russian and Australian business and scientific circles.
Address of the Ambassador of the Commonwealth of Australia to the Russian Federation Peter Tesch
I join my colleague Ambassador Logvinov in Canberra in welcoming Eden Paki to the role of President of the Australia Russia Dialogue. I also thank Dr Alexey Goncharov for the energy and commitment he brings to trying to build the profile of the organisation and encourage greater economic and scientific co-operation between Russia and Australia.
This year is the 75th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations. At times our relationship has been strained by political tensions reflecting the broader state of global affairs as well as specific elements in our bilateral dealings. Economic ties have been affected, too, but they have not been severed. Indeed, despite the impact of sanctions and counter-sanctions imposed by both governments, business and academia continue to engage, especially in the mining (also METS), education and agribusiness sectors.
University ties are numerous, and I have been struck by the keen interest in both countries in further developing these.
So, while we deal realistically with current challenges and limitations, we must keep in mind that Russian and Australian interests intersect and focused engagement can generate mutual benefit. The ARD has a role to play in fostering this awareness and collaboration, and I wish the organisation well in its endeavours.