YALTA, November 18. /TASS/. Emperor Alexander III who went down in history as a man of peace, advocated for peace for Russia not through concessions, but with fortitude and steadfastness, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday unveiling a monument to the tsar in the Crimean city of Yalta.
Putin called Alexander III a prominent politician and patriot who bore personal responsibility for his country’s future and exerted every effort for Russia’s growth.
"Contemporaries called him the Tsar-Peacemaker. However, as Sergei Yulyevich Witte [a finance minister and first prime minister of the Russian Empire (1860-1920) - TASS] once said, he kept Russia out of war for 13 years not through concessions, but with the help of fair and staunch fortitude and steadfastness," Putin said. "Alexander III defended interests directly and openly and his policy enhanced Russia’s influence and authority in the world."
Under the reign of Alexander III, the country witnessed a vigorous industrial growth, adopted progressive labor legislation, created new industries and began construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway (the world’s longest railway), the president said. Besides, Russia started reequipping the army and implementing ambitious shipbuilding projects.
"At the same time, he believed that a strong, self-reliant and sovereign state should lean not only on its economic or military might but on traditions, that a great nation must preserve its uniqueness, while a way forward is impossible without respect for own history, culture and spiritual values," Putin said, recalling a surge in Russian art at that time.
Unveiling the monument to Alexander III, "we are paying tribute to his deeds, achievements and merits and are expressing our respect for the uninterrupted history of our country, for people of all walks of life who served honestly to their Fatherland," Putin said.
"I am convinced that this generation and the future ones will do their utmost for prosperity and wellbeing of our Fatherland just as our great ancestors would do," he concluded.
Alexander III ruled Russia from 1881 to 1894. He died at the age of 49 in Crimea, in the Maly (Small) Livadia Palace, a summer retreat of the Russian emperor’s family. The four-meter-high monument by Russian sculptor Andrey Kovalchuk was made of bronze at a plant in the Urals. It was installed on the site where the palace, destroyed by Nazi invaders during World War II, was built in the 19th century.