Mayor of Athens Kostas Bakoyannis conferred the Athens Municipality Gold Medal of Honour on the Russian Prime Minister ‘For special Contribution to the winning of independence by Greece and relations of friendship and cooperation between Greece and Russia.’
Mikhail Mishustin’s remarks at the ceremony:
Esteemed Mr Bakoyannis, ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to thank you for awarding me with the Athens Municipality’s Gold Medal of Honour. This is a special honour. I say this without exaggeration.
Russia understands and values Greece’s contribution to the world’s treasury of civilisation. Obviously, your country has exerted tremendous influence on our history. This includes aesthetic foundations in architecture and painting, and it includes poetry and philosophy. Greek scientists established the first higher educational institution in Moscow – the Slavic Greek Latin Academy.
In turn, Russia supported the people of Greece in their liberation struggle. Their courage inspired our poets. You mentioned Alexander Pushkin – he called the beginning of the Greek revolution the wonderful minutes of hope and freedom.
A number of Russian Greeks became outstanding political and economic leaders in independent Greece. Thus, its first ruler Ioannes Kapodistrias was previously the Foreign Minister of the Russian Empire. All this confirms that we are linked by deep historical and spiritual ties that are rooted in the distant past.
Today, Greece is an important partner for our country in Europe. Common views on fundamental values, traditions of friendship and understanding create very good opportunities for cooperation between us in many diverse areas. I urge my Greek colleagues to promote our dialogue and contact between our capitals – Athens and Moscow. I know that an exchange of views will be very important for us and is of mutual interest.
My friends, I would like to thank you again for this symbolic gesture. I value our trust very much and wish you success in your work for the benefit of the Greek capital and its residents. I wish all good things and prosperity to your wonderful country.
I am grateful to you for the warm reception of the Russian delegation. Thank you.