Remarks by Mr. Dmitry Chumakov, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, at the Memorial Wreath Laying Ceremony in honor of the Alexandrov Ensemble and other victims of TU-154 plane crash
Today we have come here to honor the memory of the victims of a plane crash that took place in the skies over the Russian city of Sochi on 25 December 2016. On that Christmas Day the world lost almost all members of the Alexandrov Ensemble, an outstanding philanthropist Ms.Elizaveta Glinka, journalists from Russian mass media, and the flight crew – nearly 100 people who were heading to Syria to organize a charity event.
This tragedy resonates in the hearts and minds of people throughout the globe. Our symbolic ceremony that is held on the American soil is another proof of that. What it shows is that human relations and friendly ties between Russians and Americans are indissoluble. We have recently affirmed that, in September of this past year when we gathered at this very spot, by the Teardrop Memorial, to commemorate the victims of 9/11.
Amidst a very complicated international situation, it is the humanitarian ties that strongly bring us together. Russia has always stood for enhancing such contacts. Even today, with new outbursts of COVID-19, cultural people-to-people contacts do not stop but grow larger and stronger In a sense, they even intensify, because if we learned one thing from the pandemic, it is definitely new ways and forms of communication.
Our words of gratitude go to the “Schiller Institute” and the Fire Department of the city of Bayonne, who for many years have been co-organizers of our memorial events. Your contribution to the friendship and solidarity of the people of Russia and the United States cannot be overestimated. Tragic events unite us, but we look forward to being united without them.