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Opening of Russia Day at Expo 2015

June 10, 2015, Milan

Vladimir Putin and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi took part in the opening ceremony of National Day of Russia at the Expo 2015 Universal Exposition.

In his remarks at the opening, Mr Putin noted that trade, humanitarian and cultural contacts between Russia and Italy go back more than 500 years, and Italy is still one of Russia’s most important trade partners in Europe today.

The Universal Exposition (Expo for short) is a major international event that dates back many years now. It takes place once every five years and runs for six months.

Russia has taken part in every Expo since the first universal exposition took place in London in 1851.

The main theme of Russia’s section at Expo 2015 is food security and Russia’s contribution to achieving it. The Russian section’s motto is Growing for the world. Cultivating for the future. The exposition tells the story of the life and work of three outstanding Russian scientists, Nikolai Vavilov, Dmitry Mendeleyev, and Vladimir Vernadsky, with information on their research, achievements and discoveries.

Mr Putin and Mr Renzi also visited the Russian and Italian pavilions.

Speech at ceremony opening Russia’s National Day at Expo 2015

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, ladies and gentlemen, friends,

First of all, I want to greet everybody and express, of course, my gratitude to Mr Renzi for taking part in this opening ceremony of the National Day of Russia at the Expo 2015 Universal Exposition.

Russia and Italy have very close ties indeed. Our trade, humanitarian and cultural relations go back more than 500 years. Italy today is one of our most important trading partners in Europe and is a big investor in the Russian economy. We work together on the international stage and try to respect and take into account each other’s interests.

Our country was one of the first to give its support to Milan’s bid to host the Universal Exposition, and we put particular thought and attention into preparing Russia’s pavilion at the event.

Perhaps not all of you know that Russia has been involved in the universal expositions right from the first such event, more than 160 years ago. Russia took part in the first Universal Exposition in London in 1851, and at the Expo here in Milan in 1906, it received a great many prizes – 198 in all.

The Russian pavilion at Expo 2015 is one of the biggest, with an area of more than 4,000 square metres. It presents our latest economic, scientific and cultural achievements, and, of course, our latest advances and developments in the field that is this Expo’s theme: Feeding the Planet. Energy for Life.

The Russian exposition, which Russia’s leading agricultural regions helped to organise, presents our country’s natural and biological diversity and shows how we are using new technology and high environmental standards in different climatic zones, while at the same time nurturing and preserving our centuries-old national traditions.

Russia accounts for a tenth of the world’s arable land and holds a fifth of the world’s fresh water reserves. Our country does everything it can to help ensure the world’s food security. In 2014, we had one of our biggest grain harvests yet, with more than 105 million tonnes. This fully covered our domestic needs and also allowed us to boost our exports substantially – up to 30 million tonnes. Russia is the third biggest grain exporter in the world today.

The Russian exposition’s historical section is devoted to the life and work of three of our country’s outstanding scientists: Dmitry Mendeleyev, who created the periodic table of elements; natural scientist Vladimir Vernadsky; and genetics pioneer Nikolai Vavilov. Their scientific discoveries and the results achieved by other Russian and Soviet scientists have made an enormous contribution to world science and to resolving the problems of food security and sustainable natural resource use.

Of course, the Open Kitchen section of our exposition certainly merits attention. Here, chefs from different parts of Russia prepare a wide range of original Russian and other ethnic dishes, hold cookery master classes, and offer tasting of different drinks. I am sure that visitors to the Russian pavilion will feel our country’s traditional hospitality.

Ladies and gentlemen, once again, I thank you for the invitation to be here for the National Day of Russia, which opens with this ceremony now. I wish the Russian exposition and the entire Expo 2015 success.

Thank you very much for your attention.

June 10, 2015, Milan