Today we are celebrating the 44th Anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the Russian Federation and the Independent State of Papua New Guinea. On this date, 19 May 1976, the Chief of diplomatic missions of the USSR and Papua New Guinea signed a Joint Communique on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations in Canberra (Australia).
Papua New Guinea gained independence on 16 September 1975, and the USSR was one of the first states, who recognized it. Moreover, the Soviet Union raised the issue of independence for Papua New Guinea at the United Nations in the 1960s.
In November 1988, the PNG government approved the establishment of the USSR Embassy in the capital of Papua New Guinea (Port Moresby), which was officially opened in March 1990. During the activity of the Soviet Embassy in Port Moresby, bilateral relations have progressed in a number of areas: inter-parliamentary ties, delegation exchanges through the public organizations, and cooperation in the field of education and culture have been established.
After the 1990s, there was a temporary lull period, but bilateral relations between Russia and Papua New Guinea took a new stage in the development after the meeting of the Prime Ministers of both countries at the APEC summit, which was held in the capital of Papua New Guinea in 2018.
So, in 2018, at the invitation of the Miklouho-Maclay Foundation a delegation of academics of PNG Universities for the first time in the contemporary history visited Russia in order to get acquainted with the Country. In 2019, the Russian Center (Russkiy Mir Cabinet) was solemnly opened in Port Moresby by the Miklouho-Maclay Foundation with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Russkiy Mir Foundation and partners from Papua New Guinea, to introduce Papua New Guineans to Russian culture and language.
In turn, we’re well aware of the culture of Papua New Guinea from the diaries of the great Russian scientist-humanist and traveler N. N. Miklouho-Maclay, who made a legendary journey to the northeastern coast (Maclay Coast) of New Guinea Island in 1871. He’s one who left a good memory of Russia and was the first who fought for the independence of Papua New Guineans.
However, it’s important to note that only in the last 3 years, starting with the first in the contemporary history of Russia research expedition in September 2017 on the trail of Nikolay Miklouho-Maclay Sr. to Papua New Guinea, which was organized and conducted with scientists of the Russian Academy of Sciences under the leadership of the descendant and namesake of the Russian scientist, humanist and traveler, Nickolay Miklouho-Maclay Jr., the Russian language courses were organized at the PNG National Library and Archives of Papua New Guinea, Days of Russian Culture at PNG Universities, exhibitions dedicated to the Russian explorers of Oceania and the memory of N.N. Miklouho-Maclay, also, a book ‘Journey to the Maclay Coast’ was published in cooperation with the University of Port Moresby in 2018, and a number of business meetings were arranged in Russia and PNG! We’re sure that cultural and scientific cooperation provides a good basis for the development of mutually beneficial bilateral economic cooperation between the Countries.
According to the Director of the Miklouho-Maclay Foundation, N.N. Miklouho-Maclay Jr. “relations between Russia and PNG are developing so intensively because they have based on the good memory between the peoples of our countries due to the great Russian scientist Miklouho-Maclay Sr. All of us remember his books about New Guinea Island and its people, and it’s also important that the friendly attitude to Russia at all levels from villagers to the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Hon. James Marape improves interactions and inspires me and my colleagues in PNG to work on evolving bilateral ties, which are developing with the full support of the Russian Embassy in the Republic of Indonesia and personally Her Excellency Lyudmila Vorobyova, the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Indonesia”.
The relations between Russia and Papua New Guinea are being maintained through the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Indonesia. Russia in Papua New Guinea is represented by the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Indonesia Lyudmila Vorobyova, with the support of which, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and public organizations of the country, the Miklouho-Maclay Foundation holds cultural and humanitarian events in order to enhance the bilateral relations.