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Russia’s top diplomat Lavrov: 2018 FIFA World Cup ‘sparked upsurge in global diplomacy’

All foreign visitors saw for themselves that all stories presented earlier by Western media about Russia were fake, Sergey Lavrov said
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Mikhail Metzel/TASS
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

DVORIKI VILLAGE /Vladimir Region/, July 30. /TASS/. The 2018 FIFA World Cup, held in Russia between June 14 and July 15, sparked a blast-off in the global diplomacy, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.

"It is no exaggeration at all to say that it was an upsurge and a blast-off in the global diplomacy," Lavrov said addressing participants of the national Educational Youth Forum dubbed the Terra Scientia in Russia.

"I believe it was a magnificent achievement that hundreds of thousands of foreign visitors had a chance of visiting over a dozen of Russian cities and to see personally how Russia and its citizens live," the top Russian diplomat said.

According to Lavrov, "judging by video footage both on television and the Internet, as well as during personal discussions with foreign football fans, it was obvious that the vast majority - leaving aside some singular exceptions, was sincerely happy to be here and they openly wished to come back having realized how famous is the hospitality of our people."

"We definitely wish for this atmosphere to linger on, but obviously only one month allocated for the World Cup was special in many senses,’ he said adding that Russia will be missing "every day [of the World Cup’s] permanent dancing, songs and barbeque on the Nikolskaya Street [in Moscow] or in any other Fan Zone."

"However, it is now obvious for me that all foreign visitors, who have been here for this month, saw for themselves that all stories presented earlier by Western media for readers and broadcast viewers about Russia were fake," Lavrov added.

This summer Russia hosted its first-ever FIFA World Cup, which kicked off in Moscow with a remarkable opening show at Luzhniki Stadium on the evening of June 14 and ended with a spectacular final match, played also at the Luzhniki Stadium, where France confidently defeated Croatia 4-2 to win the much-coveted World Cup Trophy.

Russia selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they were Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.

The national football team of hosts Russia managed to make it to the quarterfinals stage of this world championship, where Croatia edged them out in a 4-3 penalty shootout win on July 7 at the Fisht Arena in Sochi.