The Second World War with its countless victims was a great tragedy for all humanity. One of the most important motivations for opposing any acts of aggression and violence should be the remembrance of millions of fallen, mutilated, and tortured victims of concentration camps.
Europe is a strange continent. Strictly speaking, indeed it is not a continent at all but a mere peninsula tacked onto Asia. Looking at the map, Russia west of the Ural Mountains is either the base or the beginning of this peninsula. But, because of its unmistakable cultural identity, this peninsula has become a continent on its own and Russia is without any doubt an indispensable part of it.
First of all, as Chair of Universal Peace Federation in Europe I would like to extend a warm and heartfelt welcome to each and every one of you to this important conference on "Europe and Russia: Partners in a Globalised World". It is very good to see you all here today!
The second session was chaired by Prof. Dr. Thomas Kruessmann, University of Graz, Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies.