The participants discussed key challenges currently facing the European Community.
During the discussion with Minister Lavrov on November 24, the parties brought up a number of issues, including fighting xenophobia, racism and anti-Semitism, promoting tolerance in Europe, furthering disarmament and preventing nuclear catastrophe, and the need for preserving the historical truth about World War II and memories of past tragedies.
Minister Lavrov said, “We have a positive relationship with the European Jewish Congress on several levels and appreciate our cooperation. For next year we are planning to hold several joint events. First and foremost we are going to commemorate the series of memorial dates associated with the 65th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.”
On November 26 Russian President Dimitry Medvedev received a senior delegation from the European Jewish Congress (EJC). In his speech President Medvedev touched on matters of fighting anti-Semitism and xenophobia and the expansion of cross-cultural and interfaith dialogue in Russia and Europe.
In his turn, Dr. Moshe Kantor, President of the EJC, expressed his gratitude to the members of the Russian government for their continuous and comprehensive support of the EJC’s initiatives and projects and extended his appreciation to President Medvedev “[f]or promoting tolerance and reconciliation, especially among the young people of the largest country in Europe.”
During the meeting with the Russian President Dr. Kantor introduced a number of initiatives targeted at defending human rights, fighting xenophobia and anti-Semitism in modern society, strengthening tolerance in Europe and preventing nuclear catastrophe.
“The synergy between the dual concepts of security and tolerance is an unconditional requirement in today’s world […] In the current situation, Russia, the EU and the US need to establish a watchdog agency to counteract humanitarian threats in order to lay the groundwork for secure tolerance as an ongoing programme of practical measures,” Dr. Kantor said.
He continued, “The establishment of the an All-European University of Secure Tolerance in Central Europe may become a platform for a new political doctrine of international security.”
The EJC delegation approached President Medvedev with a proposal to officially declare January 27 a day in commemoration of the Red Army’s liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in order to reinforce recognition of the decisive role of the Soviet Union in the victory over Nazism.