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Tigran Sargsyan: "A true diplomat must possess some special personal qualities"

Tigran Sargsyan: "A true diplomat must possess some special personal qualities"

12/11/2019

Diplomatic skills are essential, especially at the stage of forming such an association as the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). However, the experience of the outstanding Soviet diplomat Andrei Gromyko suggests that not only professional knowledge is essential, but particular personal qualities as well. This idea was expressed by Tigran Sargsyan, Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), at the general meeting of the Association of Foreign Policy Studies named after A.A. Gromyko and the conference dedicated to the 110th anniversary of the diplomat. The event was held at MGIMO (Moscow State Institute of International Relations) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia in Moscow.

"Of course, Andrei Gromyko is an outstanding personality in the entire post-Soviet space; and people remember him very well. Gromyko is a legendary diplomat, a politician who played an outstanding role in forming the Soviet diplomatic school that gave birth to the diplomatic departments of former Soviet Union countries,” Tigran Sargsyan mentioned.

We remember Andrei Gromyko both as a professional of the highest level and as a person, you can do business with. "In diplomacy, building trust relations is crucial. Even the most challenging and controversial issues can be easily solved when you discuss them with a decent person,” Tigran Sargsyan emphasized.

The Chairman of the EEC Board spoke about the possible areas of cooperation between the Commission and the Association named after Andrei Gromyko. He believes that the EEC’s activities include two tracks interconnected with diplomacy and leading to the most fruitful interaction.

Firstly, it is an internal track: five independent states have formed a new international organization - the EAEU. Its participants interact both based on the international experience and with due regard to the experience of other regional economic associations, as well as applying fundamentally new approaches. At the same time, it is necessary to develop and implement a common agenda for all five countries. Sometimes it can be challenging, e.g., due to differences in the EAEU participating countries' economies. In this sense, diplomatic skills and the ability to find mutually agreed solutions are essential.

The second direction includes external tracks. On behalf of the five countries, the EEC conducts trade and economic negotiations with third countries and associations. The five Union countries vested the Commission, being a permanent supranational body, with a part of their national authorities. The external track's distinctive feature lies in the necessity to consider and pursue the interests of all countries when negotiating with third countries and associations on behalf of the Union’s five participating countries.

The consolidation of the Union countries' interests and expectations with the view of representing and protecting them on the external track requires special diplomatic skills and a high level of professionalism. Yet, decency, which has been traditionally appreciated in the diplomatic school founded by Andrei Gromyko, is equally important.

The Chairman of the EEC Board noted that the EEC is ready to develop and deepen cooperation with the Association with the view of implementing the Union's agenda.

In his speech, Anatoly Torkunov, Rector of MGIMO of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, emphasized that Andrei Gromyko represented an important stage in the history. Actually, this is a unique biography for a diplomat, who already became an ambassador to the United States at the age of 34 and served as head of Soviet diplomacy for almost three decades under conditions when ensuring stability in the bipolar world was urgent.

For reference

In 1944, Andrei Gromyko, the USSR ambassador to the USA, headed the Soviet delegation at the International Conference in the USA devoted to the issue of creating the United Nations. He participated in the preparation of the Tehran Conference, the preparation and holding of the Yalta Conference in 1945, and in the same year headed the delegation that signed the UN Charter on behalf of the USSR at the conference in San Francisco (USA). Andrei Gromyko was a member, and later on, headed the USSR state delegations at 22 sessions of the UN General Assembly. From the late 1940s, Andrei Gromyko over 20 times used the veto right for the benefit of the USSR in the UN Security Council and thereby was given "Mr. Nyet" (Mr. No) nickname first in the diplomatic environment, and later on in the press. In 1988, he ended his career in politics as the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, that is, as a formal head of the Soviet State.

During the conference, leading experts and diplomats discussed the diplomatic heritage of Andrei Gromyko, the lessons of the Cold War, the destruction of the European and global security system, and the integration processes in Eurasia.​