Historical and cultural ties between Russia and France
Historical and cultural ties between Russia and France

Historical and cultural ties between Russia and France

On January 31, 2023, RSUH was visited by Pierre de Gaulle, a public figure, grandson of the ex-president of France, General Charles de Gaulle

The University administration, faculty and students welcomed the guest who gave a lecture on the topic "Historical and cultural ties between Russia and France."

Rector Bezborodov spoke about the international programs related to the study of France and its culture and academic ties with French colleagues.

In turn, Mr. Pierre de Gaulle thanked the Rector for the warm welcome, noting that he was incredibly glad to visit the University after 57 years of a similar visit by his grandfather Charles de Gaulle.

“I am pleased to exchange opinions with the Russians. I continue the path of my ancestor. Science, culture and progress are what call upon us and unite us. My grandfather was proud that he visited RSUH and understood that scholars strive to work for the whole world,” said Mr. de Gaulle.

In communication with students, Mr. de Gaulle noted historically significant milestones in the interaction between the two countries, recalling the phrases by Charles de Gaulle:

“In France, our philosophers and scientists have always been interested in Russia. The General had close relations with the Soviet Union. He understood that it was extremely important to be united. My grandfather loved Russia, the Russian people, their culture. I would like to once again assure you of love and friendship for your people and culture. We must not make mistakes here”.

Students recalled the story of the legendary return of gold to France. The guest responded: “Sanctions are an example of injustice and violation of rights. We have upset the balance and it needs to be restored. There is an Atlantic idea to isolate Russia and make the whole world believe in this isolation. But two-thirds of the world's population support Russia. And I regret that France does not share this vision. I regret that such a position should exclude France from the negotiations. I would like France and Russia to be together”.

A history student asked about the influence of Russia and France on the African continent. “Now there is an increasing disrespect for the peoples and the culture of the peoples in the world. Africa is resisting American arrogance. They have every right to choose their partners. African countries want to free themselves from the negative US patronage. I am in favor of the liberation of the peoples,” replied Pierre de Gaulle.

Dean of the Faculty of International Relations, Political Science and Foreign Area Studies Dr. Yevgeny Kozhokin asked Pierre de Gaulle's opinion about the tradition of fighting to protect one's interests. “We lack the analysis of the situation. We lack vision and conviction. French politicians are pursuing a policy of fence-straddling." Unfortunately, everyone has lost the ability to keep their word. We just react to the situation, go with the flow. We lack knowledge about Russia, its people, its mentality. They look at the Russians through Western eyes. Public opinion is such that French politicians also neglect the fact of the strength of the Russians. We are in a dangerous situation,” said Pierre de Gaulle.

The guest expressed his gratitude for the invitation to visit the University, adding, “We cannot ignore Russia. We cannot ignore the Russians, because the Russians are Europeans. ... The sanctions are having a bad effect on Europe as well. France has the strength to make itself heard. I want the voice of France to be strong and independent. I don't want France excluded from the negotiations. I would like to emphasize the quality of Russian culture and the desire of young French people to get acquainted with it. We have bookstores with contemporary Russian authors. We study and read them. Knowledge and culture make nations free."

First Vice-Rector Olga Pavlenko said that all the participants of the meeting were impressed by the visit: “Your voice in support and protection of academic, cultural and intellectual contacts is very valuable for each of us. The interest of our students in French culture is enormous. We invite you to visit RSUH again, we invite you to exchange academic experience.” Mr. de Gaulle promised to visit RSUH again in May this year. It will be especially important for him to meet with students on May 9, the Victory Day.