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LONDON, May 9 (Itar-Tass) - World War II veterans contribute to strengthening relations between Britain and Russia, Russian Ambassador to Britain Alexander Yakovenko said at a reception held in London on the occasion of the 68th anniversary of Victory over fascism.
The reception took place onboard the legendary HMS Belfast cruiser. Yakovenko addressed the veterans of British Northern Convoys in English. He congratulated them on the 68th anniversary of the common Great Victory and thanked them for their enormous contribution to victory over fascism. He added that the people of Russia and the United Kingdom would always remember their feat. Yakovenko wished the British war veterans good health, prosperity and all the best.
Yakovenko also addressed the Russian war veterans who were present at the reception.
"As for the Russian war veterans, let me address you in Russian. My father took part in the war. That is why veterans make a vital part of my life. They are not something abstract for me. You cannot imagine how dear you are to us,” he emphasized.
Yakovenko believes that the current visit by Russian war veterans will contribute to strengthening relations between the two countries.
"Many elements of contemporary interaction between Moscow and London were laid down exactly by you in those war years. Your feat will remain in history forever,” the Russian diplomat emphasized.
The ceremony ended with a minute of silence and naval salute.
The Belfast cruiser has been moored on the Thames near the Tower Bridge since 1971.