Russian Day has been celebrated since 1992, when the Russian Federation was proclaimed as a legal successor to the Soviet Union.
The national holiday reflects the major democratic and economic transformations that began in our country over twenty-five years ago.
Despite the above-mentioned changes and challenges, we never divert our attention from our traditional friends in the region including, without doubt, the Lao PDR.
Russians sided with Lao patriots who were fighting for national independence, gave support to the formation of the young Lao Republic, to the development of country’s economy.
Thousands of young Laotians were educated in our country and they maintain warm feelings towards Russia.
Even in the very dramatic situation after the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the beginning of reforms, both in Russia and in Laos, the leaders and people of our countries not only did not allow the bilateral relations to cool down but showed their determination to give our ties a new dimension.
Nowadays, Russian-Lao relations based on a solid foundation of mutual respect and confidence are on the rise.
We are looking for new ways to extend multidimensional cooperation and strengthen mutually beneficial interaction on a wide scope of issues. There are regular delegation exchanges at various levels.
The year 2016 was no exception. The Russian Federation, in coordination with the Lao PDR, hosted the Russia-ASEAN Dialogue Partnership Summit in Sochi.
The summit became the arena for an in-depth analysis of the current state of our relations and future cooperation prospects and opinion exchanges on various issues. Our leaders had a chance to discuss Russian-Lao bilateral relations personally on the sidelines of the above-mentioned summit.
The visit of the Russian Prime Minister to the Lao PDR on the occasion of ASEAN Summits in September 2016 gave impetus to the diverse Russian-Lao cooperation and strengthened the law foundation of our partnership.
The agreements achieved are aimed not only at the intensification of political dialogue, but also at investment cooperation: our states intend to launch the largest Russian-Lao project in the Post-Soviet era � the Xekong 5 hydropower station construction.
Cooperation in the humanitarian field is gaining momentum as well: the cultural exchanges between our states are blossoming: Russian musicians held large-scale concerts in Vientiane in October 2016 and April 2017. We are now waiting for the visit of Lao artists to Moscow.
The number of grants allocated by the Russian government for Lao students has been on the increase as well: in the year 2016, 87 Lao students left for Russia to study in various universities.
Direct cooperation between Lao and Russian universities is developing. Undoubtedly, we shall continue this work.
I hope this year will bring new positive moments in our bilateral relations. I believe it will provide another strong impulse to lift our relations even higher. I am confident that friendly relations between the Russian Federation and the Lao PDR will be further strengthened and extended for the benefit of the people of our countries, in the interests of peace and security in the region and in the entire world.
Taking this opportunity let me wish all Laotians happiness, success and prosperity.
Mikhail Baranov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Lao PDR.
Source: Lao News Agency