MOSCOW, April 12. /TASS/. It is difficult to overestimate the importance of the first manned flight to outer space, Yuri Gagarin’s feat personifies the Russian people’s heroism and self-sacrifice, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has told the RT TV channel.
"For me and for billions of people all over the world Yuri Gagarin is cosmonaut number one. He glorified our motherland and embodied its achievements. Certainly, Gagarin's personality played a significant role in this nationwide inspiration derived from the man's first journey in space. I can vividly remember his smile, charisma, sincere friendliness, and openness," the minister said.
According to him, "the flight of the Vostok (spacecraft) ushered in a new era in the history of civilization, confirmed our country’s outstanding contribution to world progress." "Yuri Gagarin’s feat symbolizes heroism and selflessness of the Russian people, their ability to be at their best in (solving) the most sophisticated and truly epochal problems," Lavrov said. "By the way, this event had an enormous impact on our generation in terms of our careers - applications to technical faculties soared, especially to those related to physics and space exploration."
"I can [also] clearly remember the feeling of victory," Russia’s top diplomat said. "Despite the Cold War that was going on at the time, with the relevant rhetoric, this feeling wasn't about a victory over someone. It was more about the joy that filled everyone with the recognition of new possibilities, the confidence that humanity would reach new heights together."
"Today the problems of conjugation of efforts based on genuine partnership between major international players in the interests of finding the answers to common challenges have become even more urgent," Lavrov said.
Since 2011, April 12 has been marked on Russia’s initiative at the international level as International Day of Human Space Flight. The UN General Assembly resolution emphasizes that it was carried by a citizen of our country, Yuri Gagarin.