Russia's Consular Service Turns 200

Author: Sergei Lavrov, Andrei Karlov, Nikolai Elizarov, Vladimir Kotenev, Sergei Razov, Vladimir Belous, Sergei Garmonin

Sergei Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

IT IS FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART that I congratulate all staff members of the Consular Department on this important jubilee the 200th anniversary of the Foreign Ministry's Consular Service.

On May 3, 1809, Emperor Alexander I signed a manifesto, entitled On the Establishment of the Office of Consular Affairs, which laid the groundwork for the activity of a department that deals with consular affairs as part of the Russian foreign policy service.

The Consular Department has traveled a long and glorious path since then. Today, comprehensive protection and support for the rights and legitimate interests of Russian citizens and compatriots residing abroad is among the priorities of the Russian state. Most of the practical work in this area has been entrusted to the Consular Service.

Russian consuls presently have to deal with a broad range of issues. Life is setting us new wide-ranging tasks related to the intensification of immigration processes and the expansion of the need for consular support in our foreign policy and foreign economic activity. Russia's capabilities as one of the world's leading powers are growing and with it the responsibility of all consular officers is growing.

High professionalism, efficient performance, and the readiness always to provide assistance and assume responsibility in complex situations are key to success. I am confident that these qualities will continue to be the calling card of all consular workers.

I wish you new successes, health, wellbeing, and all the very best.

Andrei Karlov, Director of the Consular Department, RF Ministry of Foreign Affairs

IN MAY 2009, the Consular Department of the Foreign Ministry turned 200: On May 3 (May 15 Old Style) 1809, the Office of Consular Affairs was established as a forerunner to the present Consular Department.

The creation of a specialized agency within the ministry was necessitated ...

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