(L-R): Victor Sorokin, Ambassador of Russia to Luxembourg; Alexander Nikitin, governor of Tambov; Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister; Credit: © SIP / Jean-Christophe Verhaegen, tous droits réservés

On Friday 11 May 2018, the Governor of Tanbov, Alexander Nikitin, visited the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Tanbov is a Russian Oblast, a federal subject of Russia, located around 500km south-south-east of Moscow and with a population of just over one million people.

He was received by Luxembourg's Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel, for a meeting at the Chateau de Senningen where they focused on relations between Luxembourg and the Tambov region.

On this occasion, the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Victor Sorokin, handed over to Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, the copies of the personal files of conscripts who were forced to serve in the German army during the Second World War, becoming prisoners in Russia at the end of the war.

An agreement had been signed between Luxembourg and the Russian Military Archives to obtain these copies during Prime Minister Bettel's visit to Tambov in October 2017 and that these archives are to be made available to historians for the purposes of research.

At the handing-over of the copies of the personal files, PM Bettel recalled that "the name of Tambov is engraved in the collective memory of all Luxembourgers" and underlined that "this dark page of our history is a source of obligation for all of us, to continue dialogue and contacts".

In the afternoon, PM Bettel and Governor Nikitin, accompanied by a delegation made up of former conscripted members of the Amicale de Tambov, laid a wreath at the Bonnevoie cemetery in memory of the victims of the Second World War.

Prime Minister Bettel said "Luxembourg attaches great importance to relations with Russia and is committed to maintaining dialogue with this country."