Conor Lenihan speaks about Irish Russian relations

“It is in Europe’s long term interest to engage with Russia” as former Minister Conor Lenihan says.

Former Minister Conor Lenihan has said it is in Europe’s long term interest to engage with Russia to ensure mutual security within their shared regional space. He made his comments at a Russian Charity Ball hosted last week at the Radisson Blu St. Helens Hotel in Stillorgan, Dublin to mark 45th Anniversary of Irish-Russian diplomatic relations. The dinner was attended by Russian Ambassador Yuri Filatov, Russian diplomats, charity fundraisers, including the founder of a charity “To Children with Love” Debbie Deegan who recently received an Order of Friendship State Award from Russian President Vladimir Putin.“People should look beyond the current impasse in diplomatic relations between Russia and the EU. There are a lot more issues in common than matters that set them apart,” he said. ” Having spent four years of my life working and living in Moscow I am more than aware of the European aspirations of ordinary Russians and how similar these aspirations are to those held by Irish people”.

 The Ball in the Radisson Hotel was attended by representatives of the local Russian Community, Russian business people and investors as well as Senator Gérard Craughwell the Chairman of All-Party Parliamentary Friendship Group based at Leinster House. 

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In the greetings addressed to the guests of the ball, Russian Ambassador to Ireland Yury Filatov had mentioned:“Over the years, our countries have accumulated valuable experience of mutual understanding and partnership, based on reciprocal adherence to the development of constructive political dialogue, mutually beneficial trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian links as well as people-to-people contacts. Ties between Russia and Ireland date back deeper in history than just 45 years, marking many stories of mutual good will. It is my strong belief that this heritage will allow us to develop Russian-Irish relationship even further.

Russia and Ireland are both associated worldwide with a deep affinity for the arts and culture. It is, then, no surprise that each of them is widely appreciated in the other’s country. Hope that this Ball will contribute to our cultural and humanitarian connection and allow You to leave with a bit of warmth of the Russian soul in your heart.”

The Ambassador also added: “I would like to commend “The Russian Bridge” organization for their remarkable activity in promoting the Russian culture and language in Ireland, building bridges of friendship between Russian and Irish people.”

The performers at the ball were Latvian opera singer Julia Viljumane, dancers Alrksandra Bilgic and Helen Shyne, singer Elena Andreeva, musicians Anna Kiselyova, Lynda O’Connor, Ailbhe McDonagh. MC of the ball – Dmitry Vinokurov.

The proceeds from the donations and raffle were processed to Slav Vavro ( and Yana Neverene ( who both fight cancer in Ireland. The proceeds from the auction went to the charity Greater Chernobyl Cause who had run the ball’s auction this year.

Annual Russian charity ball is organised by Russian bridge, Irish organisation aiming to build cultural links between 2 countries.We are grateful to the Embassy of Russian Federation in Ireland, Government of Moscow City, Sberbank, all sponsors who donated wonderful prizes for the raffle and auction and our guests for the continuous support of Russian balls in Ireland. 

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