ISLAMABAD   -  Russian ambassador-designate Danila V. Ganich on Thursday hosted a reception to mark the ‘Russia Day’ amid a galaxy of diplomats, politicians and journalists.

Deputy Head of Mission Vladimir Berezyuk and Honorary Consul Gen­eral in Peshawar Arsallah Khan were co-hosts of the event.

Speaking on the occasion, Russian ambassador-designate Danila V. Gan­ich said that he aimed to promote Pak-Russia ties to new heights. He said that Pakistan and Russia already enjoyed good friendship and were moving towards partnership.

Arsallah Khan said that Pakistan needed to have good ties with the regional countries and neighbours. “Russia and China are big powers in our region. We must have close ties with them.

This does not mean that we should ignore other countries. We can only succeed when we have good ties with all nations,” he maintained.

The honorary consul said that Rus­sia had reemerged as a world power since President Putin took over. “Pres­ident Putin has led Russia to become a power again after the end of the cold war. It is slowly also becoming an eco­nomic power,” he remarked.

Russia Day is a national holiday in the Russian Federation celebrated an­nually on June 12. In accordance with the Russian Labor Code, it is an offi­cial public holiday.

On June 12, 1990, the 1st Congress of People’s Deputies of Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR, part of the Soviet Union) had adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty of the RSFSR.

The document declared the prima­cy of Constitution and laws of Rus­sian republic over the Soviet Union’s legislation, establishing equal rights for all citizens, political parties and non-governmental organizations, the principle of separation of powers into three branches, namely the legisla­tive, executive and judicial and the necessity to substantially expand the rights of the regions.

The document also stated that the Declaration is the basis to frame a new constitution. In all, 907 deputies voted to adopt the document, 13 vot­ed against it, while 9 abstained. Chair­man of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet Boris Yeltsin signed the Decla­ration.

On June 12, 1995, the holiday was celebrated for the first time. The first ceremony of awarding the State Prizes -introduced in 1992-1993 in science and technology, literature and the arts was held in the Kremlin on that day. In later years, the State Prize awarding ceremonies on June 12 became a tradition. The holiday also received the unofficial title of ‘Independence Day’. This wording has never been used in the official docu­ments, but can be seen in the media, appears on placards and banners.

In 1998, then Russian President Bo­ris Yeltsin proposed calling this day as Russia Day - in his address to the nation broadcasted by the main TV channels.