Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's introductory remarks at the opening of the 2nd Russia-UK Raw Materials Dialogue, 24 October 2018

Ladies and gentlemen,

To me as Russian Ambassador to the UK, it is a privilege to address such an important Russian-British conference. The 2nd Russian-UK Raw Materials Dialogue has a great meaning for the professional community in our countries, for it covers a broad range of different topics from mining technologies, new material development and use of natural resources to international academic and scientific exchanges.

But its significance goes far beyond its face value, though already huge. It is my sincere belief that this event, aimed initially at promoting unified competences, standards and norms in professional learning, ultimately advances mutual understanding among interested actors and parties in broader set of issues. Involvement of the young professionals and scientists, many of whom are present here today, is another absolutely positive factor. At the end, the Raw Materials Dialogue contributes to bridging differences among people in their comprehension of the world. It is especially important now, in time of huge technological and cultural changes followed by political, economic and social challenges all over the globe.

That is why I am very pleased to see that this good and timely initiative launched jointly last year in Russia by the St.Petersburg Mining University and the IOM3 Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining has soon found support of the business and official authorities in our both countries. Surely, this initiative will contribute to further strengthening economic and humanitarian ties between Russia and the UK. And despite all current complexities, these ties have a significant potential to develop, especially given the huge mutual interest of the Russian and British business to enhance their cooperation. It is proved, inter alia, by 25% increase in the volume of bilateral trade in 2017.

In this context, it is a special pleasure to me to congratulate the St.Peterburg Mining University on its success in the recent creation of the International Competence Center in Mining Education under the aegis of UNESCO. It will surely solidify the position of the University as one of the leading global educational and scientific centers as well as a platform for international professional cooperation. I am glad that this status will be further strengthened by the documents that will be signed  during this conference, including the one on establishing the IOM3 branch in St.Petersburg.

Finally, let me express my great pleasure and satisfaction with today’s conference as well as my sincere hope that the Raw Material Dialogue will remain a solid ground for a regular and systemic interaction between the professional, academic and scientific communities of our two countries.