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MOSCOW, November 9. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will receive on Wednesday the credentials of 19 new foreign ambassadors to Russia, the Kremlin press service said.
This ceremony always marks the official beginning of an ambassador’s functions in Russia. The president will be receiving ambassadors who came to work in Russia in the recent months.
According to the Kremlin press service, this time the Russian leader will receive credentials from the ambassadors from Greece, Poland, Finland, Luxembourg, Holland, Turkmenistan, New Zealand, Burundi, Colombia, Mali, Montenegro and the Federal Republic of Somalia as well as the Republic of Chad, The Gambia, Iceland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Equatorial Guinea, and the diplomatic representative of the Pope of Rome, papal nuncio.
The credentials ceremony usually takes place twice or thrice a year. The previous such ceremony was conducted on April 20.
In diplomacy, credentials, also known as letters of credence, are documents that ambassadors, diplomatic ministers, plenipotentiary, and charg·s d'affaires provide to the government to which they are accredited, for the purpose, chiefly, of communicating to the latter the envoy's diplomatic rank. They also contain a request that full credence be accorded to his official statements. Until his or her credentials have been presented and found in proper order, an envoy receives no official recognition.
During the ceremony the president, accompanied by his aide on international affairs and the foreign minister, receives these documents from each of the diplomats one after another. After they hand over their letters of credence to the Russian leader, he welcomes them with a brief speech and invites them to lift a glass of champagne to mark the beginning of their diplomatic careers in Russia.