On June 15, in London first alumni reunion of the Alfa Fellowship Program from Great Britain took place at the recently opened office of the Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo).
The coordinator on the British part of the Program, Professor of the Said Oxford Business School Mrs. Dana Brown greeted participants of the meeting, told briefly about the Program and presented the guests of honor — Alexander Yakovenko, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Peter Aven, the Chairman of the Board of Directors at Alfa Banking Group.
Mr. Ambassador began the performance, having read the message of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Mr. Lavrov, who warmly greeted participants of the meeting, pointing out the exclusive importance of this program as an instrument of objective informing of the Western community about the Russian realities. Due to his words this very instrument is absolutely imperative both for Russia and its partners — the USA and Great Britain «bearing special responsibility for the world’s fate».
Among the guests there were not only graduates of the Program, but also new fellows who will arrive in Moscow in the end of June. For them it was especially important to hear directly from the Head of the Russian diplomatic mission in UK that the Program, which they were selected for, is actively supported by the Russian and British Ministries of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Ambassador added that the Alfa Fellowship Program was not a single attempt to organize similar exchanges between Russia and Great Britain, but the first successful and so thorough one.
Peter Aven thanked Mr. Ambassador for his kind words to the Program and emphasized that it was especially important that the idea which underlays the creation of this project was implemented just in the way it was conceived. To crown all, Mr. Aven wished the new fellows success, noting that he was sincerely glad for them, and told that he would be pleased to be in their place, having such a great opportunity of acquainting themselves with modern Russia.