By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
Russian Ambassador to Mexico Eduard Rubénovich Malayán and his wife Marina Malayán hosted a gala reception at their embassy on Thursday, June 14, to commemorate that country’s most important national day.
But while the reception had a distinctively festive mood – thanks to the historic nature of the celebration and the fact that it coincided with the inauguration of Russia’s 2018 FIFA World Cup – there was also a bittersweet note to the event because, during the ceremony, Malayán announced that he will be returning home to Moscow in July after more than five years in Mexico.
“I am not going to bore you with an account of the current affairs in Russia, or the importance of the World Cup, or the relationship between Russia and Mexico,” Malayán told his guests.
“The main thing we have managed to do it to preserve and strengthen the spirit of friendship and cooperation that has always characterized Russian-Mexican relations.”
But while Malayán took a modest approach to proclaiming his own accomplishments, it should be noted that during his stay here, two-way trade reached an unprecedented lever of $1.7 billion annually.
In 2017, Mexican exports to Russia grew by a whopping 43 percent and Russian investment in Mexico has quadrupled in the last six years.
Among the chief products that Mexico currently imports from Russia are machinery, steel goods, helicopters, uranium, chemicals, fertilizers, cork, metals and vodka.
Russia and Mexico have also stepped up cooperation in the political, scientific, academic, cultural and tourism arenas.
Two-way cooperation also extends into a vast number of other fields, including agriculture, nuclear spheres, space exploration, parliamentary exchanges and humanitarian affairs.
“The main reason we are gathered here today is, of course, Russia Day,” Malayán said.
“This day symbolizes Russia’s freedom and the grandeur of its millennial history, the victories and accomplishments of many generations of our ancestors.”
Russia Day, traditionally celebrated in June, has been observed every year since 1992 and marks the date two years earlier when the First Congress of People’s Deputies of the Russian Federation adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.
Moscow formerly established relations with Mexico in 1890, and one year later the first Russian legation was opened in the Mexican capital.