Phnom Penh (FN), Feb. 10 – Today the Russian diplomatic service celebrates a professional holiday – the Diplomats' Day. Over the history, diplomats of country have always protected the national interests, contributed to ensuring the security of the state and its people. Establishment of this holiday back in 2002 by the Presidential Decree became another recognition of merits of this service in strengthening of the country's position on the international arena.

Diplomacy, as an integral part and instrument of foreign policy, appeared and developed simultaneously with the birth and formation of the Russian statehood, with its history dating back to the 9th century and center established in Kiev – along the important river trade rout to Byzantium. During that period, the Ancient Rus led an active foreign policy with about forty different states, principalities, unions and tribes.

While feudal strife and foreign invasions changed dramatically the political landscape in Ancient Rus principalities, they also gave a way to prominent figures, skilled in diplomacy and politics, such as Prince Alexander Nevsky. The Prince indeed played a fateful role in preservation of the Russian statehood, consolidation of our people in the face of external threats, preservation of its cultural and religious identity, and strengthening of the position of Orthodox Church as the most important unifying factor. Effectively acting in both with the East and the West, he formulated the principle of a multi-vector foreign policy, its focus on cooperation with the full consideration of national interests. Such an approach determined that Alexander Nevsky has long been regarded as the heavenly patron of Russian diplomacy.

Many generations of our country's diplomats have been acting in the spirit brought by the Prince, with this year marking round anniversaries of such outstanding statesmen as Vasily Golitsyn, Aleksey Bestuzhev-Ryumin, Fedor Rastopchin, Alexander Gorchakov and many others, who led the Russian diplomatic service over the past centuries.

Nowadays the world is facing different global challenges and regional volatility, that require readiness to cooperation and concerted efforts in settling differences. Meanwhile, forced to launch the special military operation to remove the threat from the saber-rattling Kiev regime to the people of Donbass and its own security, Russia has to stand against a large-scale Russophobic campaign, incited over the past few years by the collective West. Russian diplomats continue to evoke the pround legacy of the past, aiming to strengthen sovereignty, pursue an independent foreign policy, uphold respect for the cultural and civilizational diversity of the modern world, the right of peoples to determine their own destiny, do utmost to strengthen the positions of the Russian world, the Russian language, our country's multinational culture, ensure the interests of our citizens and compatriots living abroad.

Back in 2016 at Sochi Russia-ASEAN Summit, president of Russia Vladimir Putin proposed the idea of creating the Greater Eurasian Partnership. Its notion is appealing to the integration institutions, like the EAEU, SCO, ASEAN, other associations and countries that are not involved in them, and implies the joint efforts to nurture interconnectivity, while respecting internal processes and maximizing one's own competitive advantages. Amid the emerging multi-polar world order, gradually strengthening around the new emerging centers, it is important to pursue dialogue and consent, observe the UN Charter principle of respect for the sovereign equality of all states, leaving confrontation aside.

Anatoly Borovik, ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Kingdom of Cambodia