21 february 2013

Dmitry Medvedev presents state awards for contributions to the development of Russian-Brazilian cultural ties


During his working visit in Brazil, the Prime Minister presented a Russian state award, the Pushkin medal, to the artistic director of the choir, "Melody," Galina Shevchyuk, and to Brazilian translator and scholar Paulo Bezerra.

According to the Presidential executive orders, Shevchuk and Bezerra were awarded medals for their contributions to the development of cultural ties with Russia, for the conservation of the Russian language and culture abroad.


Dmitry Medvedev’s address at the ceremony:

Good afternoon, friends.

It is a great pleasure for me to present the Pushkin Medal to those who have contributed so much to strengthening the ties between our countries, peoples and cultures.

First, I’ll say a few words about the recipients.

Paulo Azevedo Bezerra, a talented translator and professor, was educated at Lomonosov Moscow State University. His brilliant translations have introduced millions of Portuguese speakers to Russian classic literature, including such outstanding authors as Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Nikolai Gogol, Osip Mandelshtam, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, theater theorist Konstantin Stanislavsky and scientist Andrei Sakharov. And the list is not limited to those names.

For many years, Mr Bezerra has taught literature and Russian at recognized universities. He is also a Russian literature researcher.

Galina Shevchuk has lived in Brazil for many years but she remains strongly connected with Russian culture. She deserves credit for starting the Melody Choir that has been performing for 20 years now. This choir has introduced several generations to our culture. I would like to say a special thank you to Galina for establishing a new tradition of annual concerts marking the Day of Russia in Sao Paolo. This is a new holiday in our country and I am pleased to know that the concert is quite popular in Brazil.

These excellent examples of international friendship can only be possible when countries and their peoples have good feelings toward each other. We cite some of these examples quite often. In 2000, the Bolshoi Theatre opened a school for foreign performers in Joinville. There is a Brazilian football school in the Moscow Region. It is important to make sure that there are more projects of this kind. This requires enthusiasm and dedication from the people involved.

My partners and I were busy today working together on improvements in our countries’ economic relations. But I’m happy that this busy day in Brazil is ending on a celebratory note because the economy is not everything.

I would like to say thank you again to Paulo Azevedo Bezerra and Galina Shevchuk for your contribution over the years and for deepening the delicate relations between Russia and Brazil. Thank you for helping our peoples get to know and better understand each other.

My congratulations on these awards. I wish you the best success. Now let the ceremony begin.