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ARCHANGELSK, August 30 /TASS/. U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Tefft said on Tuesday that the Americans and the Russians could justifiably remember the period of WWII Arctic Convoys with pride.
"The American and Russian people justifiably look back on that period in our history with great pride," Tefft said at the opening ceremony of the VI International Forum "To the Glory of Fleet and Motherland" in Arkhangelsk devoted to the arrival of the first Dervish convoy with the military cargo intended for the USSR in that northern port.
"Seventy five years ago, Murmansk and Arkhangelsk witnessed something incredible - British ships unloading American weapons to be handed over to Soviet troops. It was an act of solidarity that proved decisive to the Allied victory in WWII," Tefft said.
"Despite the differences of ideology that separated their governments, when faced with the mortal threat of Nazism, our parents and grandparents were able to support one another in the struggle for victory. The American and Russian people justifiably look back on that period in our history with great pride," the U.S. ambassador went on to say.
According to Tefft, the cost of victory over Nazism was high.
"The sacrifices that that victory required seem almost unimaginable hundreds of thousands of American, British, Canadian, Australian, NZ, Polish and other allied soldiers; tens of thousands of French and Polish resistance fighters; tens of millions of Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, and others who so bravely and courageously defended their Soviet homeland," Tefft said.
"It is a sacrifice we will never forget, it is a sacrifice that we must never forget," the U.S. diplomat added.
Tefft said that there had been times in the Russia - U.S. relations when the two countries did not closely together. "That is why commemorations like one we’re having today are so important. When we remember the Arctic Convoys, we are reminded of all that we can accomplish through mutual support and solidarity," Tefft stressed.
"Today we have the opportunity in many areas to work together again not simply to save the world, but to make it a better world. We already know how much our peoples can achieve when we work together," the ambassador said.
"I see every day how powerful it can be when people strive together toward a common goal. That is why I believe we must do everything we can to ensure that the bond between our peoples remains as strong today as it was 75 years ago," Tefft concluded.
The commemorations devoted to the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the first allied Dervish convoy to the Soviet port of Arkhangelsk (part of modern-day Russia) with the military cargo intended for the USSR, which was fighting against Nazi Germany, will be under way in Russia’s northern territories (where an ethos known as the Pomors lives) from August 29 to September 1. Nine countries, the direct participants in the Arctic convoys, have accepted the invitation to attend the celebrations.