June 18, 2018

Russia National Day in The Hague

On the picture H.E. Alexander Shulgin, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Kingdom of the Netherlands and spouse Natalia Shulgina.


On Friday, June 9, Russia celebrated the country’s National Day on the premises of the Russian Embassy with her many friends in the community. Diplomats, Dutch politicians, academics, artists, business people, Russians expatriates living in the Netherlands and many other distinguished guests from former Soviet Union countries were in attendance.

Guests formed a long line from the street corner to the embassy’s entrance. Every salon, the embassy’s beautiful gardens and a few temporary pavilions, which had been added to the main building, were all filled to capacity with the hundreds of invited guests joining Russia with the celebration.

For additional Kim Vermaat and Roy Strik’s pictures, please open the following link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/121611753@N07/albums/72157681956010764

H.E. Alexander Shulgin, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Kingdom of the Netherlands,  dressed in his gala uniform and his spouse; Natalia Shulgina, dressed in an elegant black dress and Mr Boris Zhilko, Minister Counsellor, also in a diplomatic uniform, formed a receiving line with all Russian diplomats at the embassy to extend a personal welcome to all invitees.

The Ambassador took the opportunity to speak personally with many of his guests. Others gradually drifted inside to join their peers and everyone was invited to sample a wide selection of vodka, brandy, wine and other beverages during the massive reception.

In his address, to the large crowd who had gathered for his speech, the Ambassador called attention to the fact that 2017 is a special year for Russia with respect to her long standing relations with the Netherlands, and noted, “In 2017 we celebrate a remarkable date: 300 years ago Tsar Peter the Great visited the Netherlands for the second time.”

He added further that, “besides pursuing his interest in science, technology, medicine, and mathematics, Peter expressed strong interest in the art and culture of the Netherlands. He was the one who gave a tremendous boost to the cooperation between our two countries and it was under his reign that Russia established its Embassy in the Netherlands.”

H.E. Ankie Broekels-Knol, President of the Senate.

He continued his remarks by announcing,  in a remarkable resemblance with the Dutch spirit, “this year, Russia has declared 2017 as the “Year of Ecology” in the country, in an effort to attract public attention to the existing problems in this sphere, to maintain ecological diversity and to improve ecological security of our country.’

In recognition of the “Year of Ecology,” children of the embassy’s staff planted a small fruit garden on the embassy’s grounds to further develop a new tradition which was established by Ambassador Shulgin last year during the tree planting ceremony in recognition of Russian-Dutch friendship during the National Day.


The Ambassador of Russia, H.E. Alexander Shulgin.

Ambassador Shulgin concluded his speech with another, exciting, announcement, “for the first time in history, the Russians will enjoy two major football events to be held in Russia–the Confederation Cup 2017 and the FIFA World сup 2018.”

He continued, ‘This will be the first World Cup ever organised in Eastern Europe. The final tournament will involve 32 national teams and a total of 64 matches will be played in 12 venues located in 11 cities.” The Ambassador warmly extended invitations to all present to visit Russia in the near future and concluded his speech by cordially stating, “I would like to invite you all join the football fest.”

H.E. Soraya Alvarez Nunez, Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba, Judge Walid Akoum, from the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Mr Edward Slootweg Head of Information Office , European Parliament and H.E. Vestine Nahimana, Ambassador of the Republic of Burundi.

He also expressed his gratitude to several companies who assisted the Embassy with sponsoring the event. The Ambassador said, ‘I would like to express our gratitude to the companies “Ebben”, “Fachjan”, “ArtAqua”, “PrimaLabel” and “Peony Shop Holland” and as special appreciation I express thanks to Ludmila and Jan Groenendijk, whose family and business vividly illustrate that a Russian-Dutch bond increases creativity, brings about a lot of positive energy and changes the world for the better.”

Ms Abir Ali, Chargé d’affaires, Embassy of Lebanon.

Following the Ambassador’s speech and other Russia Day formalities, the celebration continued in a festive spirit with musicians and singers and a magnificent buffet served along the several salons and pavilions.

H.E. Saywan Barzani, Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq together with Defence Attachés from the Embassy of Japan.

Music played, animated conversations continued, vodka flowed and guests enjoyed a wonderful program well into the night. Congratulations to the Russian team for organizing such a memorable National Day in The Hague!



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