Congratulatory message of the Ambassador of the Russian Federation H.E.Mr.Vladlen Semivolos on the occasion of Hari Raya Aidilfitri
This holiday has a special meaning for Russia and its Ummah. Russian Muslims cherish the rich spiritual and historical heritage of their ancestors, follow the testaments and rites of their fathers and forefathers, and preach them to the younger generation. Over the years Russia’s Muslim community has been actively involved in the life of our nation, highlighting the preservation of the family and family values, charity and education. It plays an important role in sustaining civil peace and concord, enhancing friendship and mutual understanding among people.
The Russian Federation is consistently taking steps to promote ties between the Muslim communities of our two countries. The visit of the Russian delegation led by the first Deputy Chairman of the Russia Muftis Council Mr.Rushan Abbyasov to Brunei last September greatly contributed to the development of friendly relations, cultural cooperation and mutual understanding between the Ummahs of Russia and Brunei. During the visit the photo exhibition “Traditions of Islam in Russia” was launched at the Waterfront Art Gallery. The display showcasing architecture, lifestyle, traditions and customs of the Ummah of our country received positive response from the Bruneian audience.
We welcome the promotion of ties between Islamic institutions of higher learning of our two countries. Since 2017 six MoUs between Russia’s leading Islamic universities and Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) as well as the Memorandum of understanding between the Russia Muftis Council and UNISSA have been signed. Under the Memorandum of understanding between UNISSA and Dagestan Islamic Sheikh Muhammad Arif University the first batch of Russian students are studying in Brunei now.
It gives me an utmost pleasure to emphasize that Russia-Brunei cooperation is developing in various areas thus contributing to the expansion of mutual trust and understanding between our nations and peoples.
In May Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Mr. Sergey Lavrov and the Minister of Foreign Affairs II of Brunei Dato Erywan Yusof held bilateral talks in Moscow to discuss the state and prospects of relations between our two countries. The Russian minister underscored that Brunei is Russia’s important partner in the Asia-Pacific region. This visit became another step forward towards closer cooperation between Russia and Brunei that fully meets the interests of the two countries.
The visit of the Chairperson of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Mrs. Valentina Matviyenko to Brunei last February became another milestone in Russia-Brunei relations. This visit enhanced the development of inter-parliamentary dialogue and laid down its legal foundation with the conclusion of the Memorandum of understanding between the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and the Legislative Council of Brunei Darussalam.
We continue to build up our dialogue in the field of defence and security. In September the Minister of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation Mr.Vladimir Kolokoltsev participated in the 38th conference of the Association of National Police of the ASEAN Member States (ASEANAPOL) in Brunei. In October the Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Mr. Nikolay Patrushev visited the Sultanate. Last November the Task Force of the Russian Pacific Fleet including the flagship of the Russian Pacific Fleet – missile cruiser “Varyag” visited the Muara port.
Another important area of our bilateral interaction is trade and economy. I am happy to note that last year we witnessed an increase in bilateral trade. We hope to maintain this positive trend to fully realize the potential of our trade, economic and tourism cooperation through implementation of new projects and initiatives. The entry into force of the intergovernmental agreement between Russia and Brunei on mutual visa-free travel for holders of regular passports facilitated tourist exchanges.
In April together with the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports of Brunei our Embassy inaugurated the Russian Literature Section at the Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka Library and donated the collection of Russian classics featuring over 80 books.
I am confident that our continuous mutual efforts will further expand and deepen cooperation between Russia and Brunei as well as strengthen friendship, mutual respect and trust between our two states and peoples.
In conclusion I would like to warmly congratulate all Bruneian Muslims on the end of the fast during the sacred month of Ramadan and to wish them peaceful skies above their heads, good health, happiness and prosperity.
I would also like to use this opportunity to extend my warm congratulations to His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Negara Brunei Darussalam on the occasion of His Majesty’s upcoming birthday. I have an honor to wish His Majesty continued good health, happiness and every success in his noble endeavours and tireless work for the benefit of Brunei Darussalam and its people.