About the results of the Balkan Dialogue - 2020

18 September 2020

The second day of the Balkan Dialogue – 2020 started with a session on Montenegro.

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to Montenegro Vladislav Maslennikov told the participants about the Victory Parade, which took place this year thanks to modern technologies. He mentioned that the anniversary medals had been received and would be awarded to 42 Montenegro veterans of the liberation movement.

Igor Damjanovic, coordinator of the public movement “Immortal Regiment” in Montenegro, in his report, mentioned that based on results of the elections in Montenegro there was hope for establishing more friendly relations between our countries. Unfortunately, the fascist ideology was becoming popular among a certain part of the youth. However, the Immortal Regiment organized last year proved that there was a desire to preserve the historical memory of World War II and confront its falsification.

The working session on Slovenia was opened by Envoy of the Embassy of Russia in Slovenia Galina Zamyatina. According to her, the opening of the memorial to Soviet soldier in Murska Sobota has significantly assisted in uniting the compatriots. It is also worth noting such an event in the Russian-Slovenian relations as the meeting by the Russian chapel attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Associate Professor and Vice Rector for Academic Research and Development at the University of Banja Luka Dr. Goran Latinovic opened the working session on Bosnia and Herzegovina. He told the participants about the history of the country and its declaring independence, the liberation struggle and the Serbian issue. Dr. Latinovic mentioned importance of development of the Constitution of 1995 for Bosnia and Herzegovina, which had declared independence of the country on its historical territory.

Th third day of the Balkan Dialogue – 2020 was opened by a presentation made by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Russia to the Republic of Macedonia Sergey Bazdnikin as part of the working session on North Macedonia. The ambassador welcomed the organizers and the participants, and emphasized the important role of the Gorchakov Fund in organizing those kinds of events. Then, the ambassador told about activities of the Russian Embassy. One of the important initiatives was opening of the Garden of Memory as a symbol of collective memory of the Macedonian people about the great Victory over fascism.

The second session was dedicated to Bulgaria. The first speaker to address the attendees was Professor at the Department of Modern and Contemporary History of “St. Kliment Ohridski” at the University of Sofia Dr. Iskra Baeva. During the presentation, she reminded about the role of the Soviet Union and the Red Army in the life of Bulgaria and all Eastern Europe, the need to talk about it because after the Cold War not only the balance of power in international relations had changed, but also rewriting of the history from the point of view of the winners had begun.

The final day of the Balkan Dialogue – 2020 began with a speech by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Russia to Greece Andrey Maslov as part of the session on Greece. “We highly appreciate careful treatment of the burials by the people, the authorities and the municipalities”. Events with the participation of Russian NGOs are organized every year. The Greek people demonstrate sincere interest in commemoration ceremonies. Next year, another anniversary of the Greek liberation revolution will be celebrated by organizing joint events. “Respectful perception of common lessons of the war is a cornerstone of a constructive dialogue with the countries of the peninsula”, mentioned the ambassador.

Head of the Public Law Department at the Mediterranean University of Albania Redion Luli opened the session on Albania. The expert spoke about the place of World War II in the history of the country. According to the expert, Albania was liberated, in fact, by its own forces, without the help of the foreign liberators, but not without their fronts. Thus, the first contact between the Soviet and the Albanian military took place only in 1944.

The event brought together 40 international relations experts from 10 countries.

Read more in Russian here