Artificial Intelligence Journey, the largest forum in Eastern Europe, was held in Moscow for the first time on November 8–9, 2019. It was attended by over 5,000 participants, including leading international and Russian experts in AI and data analysis, as well representatives of over 1,000 companies – leaders in developing and applying AI technologies in business processes.
RUSSIAN EMBASSY WEEKLY #110
Russia should become one of the global leaders in the artificial intelligence sector, as the country’s growth in a wide range of sectors, including its defense, depends on that, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the AI Journey conference.
"We should and, I am convinced, we are able to become one of the global leaders in the artificial intelligence field, as it is a question of our future, of Russia’s place in the world," Putin said, noting the advantage of Russian education in maths, physics and other sciences, "as well as in the humanitarian field."
"Comfortable and safe cities, accessible and high-quality healthcare, education, cutting-edge logistics and a reliable transport system, space and ocean exploration, and finally the country’s defense capabilities… The development of all these sectors largely depends on our success in artificial intelligence both now and in the near future," the Russian leader stressed.
Moral standards of human interaction with artificial intelligence should be drawn up, Putin added.
"I suggest that the professional community and companies should contemplate drawing up a set of moral rules for interaction between humans and artificial intelligence," he said recalling that "human beings are the highest value."
"Technology must not be invented for the sake of technology," he stressed. "Our main goal is sustainable and harmonious development, a higher life quality and new opportunities for citizens."
According to the president, artificial intelligence is transforming into a factor of public development, having a growing influence on the labor market and daily life of people.
Russian technology companies signed an agreement on establishing an alliance for artificial intelligence development (AI-Russia Alliance) within the Artificial Intelligence Journey forum framework. Its members will be Gazprom Neft, the only industry representative, along with Internet majors Yandex and Mail.ru Group, Sberbank, mobile communications operator MTS, and the Russian Direct Investment Fund.
Vladimir Putin met with President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev who arrived in Omsk to take part in the 16th Russia-Kazakhstan Interregional Cooperation Forum.
Vladimir Putin: … First, I would like to note that relations between our countries as between the closest partners, at least for Russia, are developing well. Last year trade was on the rise. Investment is growing too, and major projects are being carried out. Today, we will have an opportunity to talk about this again.
The presidents visited the Hermitage-Siberia Centre, part of the Omsk Regional Museum of Fine Arts (Vrubel Museum) and regional branch of the State Hermitage Museum in the Siberian Federal District.
Vladimir Putin and Kassym-Jomart Tokayev visited the first exhibition after the opening of the Hermitage-Siberia Centre, titled “Squeezing the Hilt of a Sword… Martial Culture and Armour Traditions of the Middle East.”
Key aspects of Russia-Turkey relations were discussed in detail. The consistent positive development of multifaceted cooperation, in particular, the realisation of strategic projects in the energy and military-technical areas, was positively evaluated. It was noted with satisfaction that the TurkStream gas pipeline will be launched in late December of this year.
Much attention was focused on Syria settlement issues. The sides stressed the importance of continued coordinated steps to stabilise the situation in the northeast of Syria by strictly adhering to the principles of its territorial integrity, sovereignty and unity in the context of implementing the Memorandum of Understanding between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey, adopted following the October 22, 2019 summit talks in Sochi.
The sides also exchanged opinions on the situation in the Idlib de-escalation zone. Both presidents stressed the need for further joint efforts to implement the joint Russian-Turkish agreements reached in 2018.
Vladimir Putin and Recep Erdogan welcomed the results of the first meeting of the Syrian Constitutional Committee held in Geneva on October 30 – November 1 of this year, noting the decisive contribution of guarantor states of the Astana process in preparing this event and reaffirming their commitment to further assist in promoting the inter-Syrian political dialogue.
A schedule of forthcoming top-level contacts was agreed upon.
On November 4, Russia celebrated the National Unity Day. By tradition, on this day is marked with various cultural festivals, concerts, flash mobs, sports relay races all over the country. These activities are aimed at uniting people of all ages and professions, introducing them to traditions and art of numerous peoples living in the Russian Federation.
The Unity Day is one of the youngest national holidays. It was established in 2005 replacing the Day of Consent and Reconciliation, which had been celebrated on November 7 (formerly Revolution Day) since 1996. It marks the events of 1612 when people’s militias led by Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky liberated Moscow from Polish invaders.
Historically, the holiday marks the end of the Time of Troubles (1598-1613), which comprises the years of interregnum, the Polish-Muscovite War and a deep social and economic crisis, and symbolizes the unity of people and their ability to unite during the difficult time.
The Grand Kremlin Palace hosted a reception marking National Unity Day.
As part of the reception, Vladimir Putin awarded the Presidential Prizes for contributions to strengthening the unity of the Russian nation.
Vladimir Putin: Happy National Unity Day, a holiday that marks the unity of our people, our sincere deep love for our Motherland.
It is loyalty to our homeland that nourished the will and determination of our ancestors, who united in a people’s volunteer army over four centuries ago, overcame turmoil, saved our country from disintegration, and liberated it from invaders.
They left their descendants an unfading example of a great deed, when the interests of our Motherland, its fate and future prevailed over everything else. Defending them became a unifying cause for people of different ethnicities, social strata and religions.
We are now preparing to celebrate an anniversary that is sacred for us – the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. The exhibition and forum Memory of Generations: The Great Patriotic War in Pictorial Arts that opened today is part of that extensive preparatory work.
The exhibition was created with the active participation of regional museums and picture galleries, and its scope is definitely impressive. The works on display are imbued with the deep spiritual power of the people who achieved the Great Victory.
The unique talent of each artist is amazing, as is the fact that they managed to convey across generations the heroism and sacrifices of that incomparable deed. <…>
In keeping with tradition, on National Unity Day, Vladimir Putin laid flowers at the monument to Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky on Red Square in Moscow.
… Strategic stability has deteriorated in recent years. The profound crisis in this area is unprecedented in modern history. Above all, it is caused by the actions of the United States aimed at gradually destroying the architecture of international legal arms control agreements, with the blind support from its allies. It took decades to create this architecture, which worked successfully for the common good in the most complicated periods of world history in the late 20th century, but now it has become a burden and an unwanted restriction for Washington, which hinders the US’ ability to build up its military potential all over the world to put pressure to bear on its opponents and, if necessary, to use military force directly, of which there are numerous examples. <…>
Six of our properties have, in fact, been taken from us in a crude manner. Contrary to all promises, we have not been allowed to visit any of them yet. We continue to consider our options in this matter. I raise this subject each time I get in touch with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. We are exploring the possibilities of resorting to litigation. Justice in the United States is a complicated matter as you can guess. Their procedures are such that you need to play it really, really safe before you rely on a fair verdict.
It is good that Maria Butina has returned home. <…> Watch video
Sergey Lavrov and Foreign Minister of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan took part in the opening ceremony of the exhibition commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War.
… Today, we are witnessing a situation where a number of countries, including those that openly refer to themselves as model democracies, grossly violate OSCE commitments to ensure freedom of the media, expression of opinion and equal access to information, and display intolerance to alternative points of view.
The attempts to impose on the international community non-inclusive and non-transparent initiatives to regulate the media and the internet in circumvention of the universally recognised multilateral platforms are causing deep concern. An event held in London and proudly titled “Media Freedom Conference” is the most recent case in point. The British authorities and hosts simply did not allow Russian representatives - journalists and diplomats – to attend it. <…>
"I strongly reject this sort of speculation. We are acting in the interests of the Libyan settlement, we are supporting respective efforts, including by the United Nations, and we maintain dialogue with those who somehow influence the situation. We believe there are no grounds for such claims and speculation," Ryabkov told Russian reporters during his working visit to Israel.
The high-ranking diplomat noted that this is not the first time when US media outlets publish "various fairy tales, vicious rumors and speculation" about Russia.
"We are accustomed to this, we treat this calmly, although I have to note that this fake news exerts negative influence on the US domestic audience’s mood and unfortunately, the entire climate in the US does not contribute to normalizing our ties, what we are striving for," he noted.
Adoption of the resolution on combating the glorification of Nazism at the 74th UN General Assembly session: the Third Committee adopted a Russia-initiated resolution on “Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance” at the 74th UN General Assembly session in New York on November 7, 2019;
Anti-Iran statements by US officials: Russia has never seen Iran as a source of the terrorist threat. Moreover, the Iranians themselves have fallen victim to attacks by extremist groups more than once. The biggest took place in Tehran in 2017 and in Ahvaz in 2018.
Iran has repeatedly confirmed, through its actions, its commitment to the struggle against international terrorism and its willingness to adopt the necessary measures for this, in part, in cooperation with other countries. It is effectively helping resolve antiterrorist tasks in Syria, where its army personnel stay at the invitation of Damascus.
Former US National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger expressed hope that US-Russian relations will improve in a conversation with Russian Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov on Thursday.
"The meeting with Dr. Kissinger was very successful, and it was very comprehensive, as usual," the ambassador noted. "He is the man who has a lot of experience in developing Soviet-US relations, the man who contributed so much to preventing a war between our two countries. Of course, he provided his assessment of the current situation, and the main thing is that the current situation, current relations are not in the interests of the US or Russian people," Antonov stressed. "Our relations should not remain in this unsatisfactory condition, and they will not stay like this for long," he concluded.
I would like to welcome the participants of the U.S.-Russia Business Council, which brings together representatives of the companies that have been working successfully on our market for a long time. Your annual meetings have become one of the key events promoting trade and economic partnership. They help receive first-hand information about the concerns of the business community, exchange opinions on the current issues and prospects of trade relations between Russia and the U.S. as well as share ideas for improving the investment climate in our countries.
On our part we seek to maintain our high level of involvement in the Council’s events. This year the Forum welcomes Presidential Commissioner for Entrepreneurs’ Rights Boris Titov, President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Alexander Shokhin, delegations of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade and the The Skolkovo Foundation, Russian regional authorities as well as representatives of the Eurasian Economic Commission. <…>
Question: You talked a lot about positive trends in Russian-American relations. We understand that you tried to avoid sharp moments. Could you nevertheless tell about the main “irritants” in the bilateral dialogue?
Ambassador: To overcome the negative trend in our relations, it is important to start addressing the problem of stockpiles of «irritants» in our bilateral relations. These include the arrests of Russian citizens in third countries upon U.S. requests, returning of the Russian diplomatic property, ending the «visa war», improving of the conditions for the functioning of our diplomatic missions. It goes without saying that it is time for Washington to abandon its flawed policy of pressuring other countries with sanctions. The practice has shown: it is impossible to obtain concessions from us by exerting pressure.
We believe the situation should be mended. We underscore the importance of overcoming mutual mistrust. We have been long proposing to exchange letters with guarantees of non-interference in domestic affairs of each other – just like when Franklin D. Roosevelt and Maxim Litvinov did when diplomatic relations were reestablished in 1933. By the way, back then it was Washington that insisted on the exchange. We are ready to give such assurances but have not received any positive reaction so far.
In this context we reiterate our proposal to establish a working group on cybersecurity. Professional discussions in this area will help ease misunderstandings and alleviate existing concerns.
Another round of anti-Russian publications in leading U.S. media outlets caught our attention. We perceive it as a well-organized attempt to fuel the Russophobic hysteria that has clearly begun to recede.
Absurd, unfounded allegations are being brought against our country. The authors of the articles base their conclusions on one pattern - the thesis about the “hostile posture of Moscow”, supported by the opinions of former officials, and a call to tighten US policy. Such one-sided “ultra-patriotic” attitude raises doubt about the objectivity of these media. With that, requests for comments from the Russian side are only intended to create an appearance of observing certain “standards”. Oftentimes our answers are so uncomfortable that they are simply censored or left unpublished.
As practice shows, it is close to impossible to publish expanded explanations provided by our diplomatic mission with an alternative view on a number of important issues on the pages of the same media outlets. It discredits not us but mentioned media outlets.
210 years ago on October, 5, in 1809, Emperor Alexander I received letters of credence from the newly-appointed U.S. Minister Plenipotentiary John Quincy Adams. The diplomatic relations between Russia and the United States were established.
The first accredited diplomatic representative between the United States and Russia took up his post when Chargé Dashkov presented his credentials to President Madison on July 14, 1809.
The first group came in September, and the second in October. There were 12 ships in total.
While the Russians never said why they had come, their arrival was interpreted by many Americans as a concrete expression of Russian friendship. The North seemed to be urgently in need of friends and the arrival of Russian warships dramatically highlighted the fact that not only was Alexander II America’s one true friend, but that he was seemingly prepared to fight on our side.
“God bless the Russians!” exclaimed Secretary of the U.S. Navy Gideon Welles, and this sentiment was echoed throughout the Union…
Sailing on the “Almaz” clipper was the composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Legend has it that he wrote “Flight of the Bumblebee” because of that trip. He wrote in a letter home: “I’m bored and hear buzzing wind all the time.” Some believe that buzzing became the sound of the bees in his famous composition.
Read the Soviet Embassy Information Bulletin:
Russian Premier League outfit Spartak Moscow may be forced to skip an international The 2020 Florida soccer Cup in Orlando as players have been experiencing trouble obtaining US visas for the trip.
The club’s owner Leonid Fedun said that the US embassy hasn’t yet granted visas to the players and staff members despite receiving all the necessary documents, including supporting letters from the event organizers.
“Unfortunately we have troubles with receiving US visas,” Fedun said. “We have received supporting letters from the tournament organizers and Orlando general administration department. But, despite having all the necessary papers from Spartak, the US embassy hasn’t yet granted visas to us. It’s more likely we will refuse participating in the tournament.”
After hosting a remarkable edition of International Jazz Day in 2018, Russian jazz world continues its intensive growth with the III International Jazz Across Borders (JAB) Forum & Festival — one of the biggest European jazz conferences which will be held in St. Petersburg on November 15–16, 2019.
The conference, which is part of the St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum, has become a key networking opportunity for international and Russian members of the jazz community.
For more information, visit the conference website.