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Fr. Georgiy Orehanov, Deputy Rector of Saint Tikhons University, meets Swiss Ambassador to Russia Yves Rossier
On May 4, 2017, Archpriest Georgiy Orehanov, Deputy Rector of Saint Tikhons University for International Collaboration, conducted a working meeting with Yves Rossier, the Ambassador of Switzerland to the Russian Federation. Members of the Faculties of Theology and Philology of Saint Tikhons University, as well as the Department of International Relations, took part in the event.

The Swiss Ambassador to Russia, Yves Rossier, first and foremost visited the main building of Saint Tikhons University. Fr. Georgiy opened the proceedings by greeting the esteemed visitor and commenting on the importance of collaborative work. Mr. Ambassador, we are very glad that you have been able to visit us in our University. It is a great honor for us. We would like to express our gratitude to the Swiss Embassy for supporting all our events. We are very eager to expand and formalize the list of these events in the future, he said. Perhaps we could organize a joint effort in the form of a round-table discussion dedicated to the centenary of the 1917 Russian Revolution, Fr. Georgiy proposed. It is a well known fact that many Russian revolutionaries spent a long time in Switzerland, in Zürich and Geneva. Should a Swiss expert be able to talk to us about this period in their lives, it would be most interesting, he stated emphatically.

Ambassador Rossier supported the idea. Id have to have a think about it and gather together some experts, specifically those who are really able to talk about this subject in a professional and knowledgeable way, and it will take time to prepare. I propose that we hold the roundtable in your university in the autumn, he added.

The attendees set the development of exchanges between Saint Tikhons and Swiss universities as one of the top priorities for their joint work. As it happens, Saint Tikhons University has already had a fruitful collaboration with one of them, the Bern University Institute of Practical Theology, for several years, said Ivan Zabaev, the Director of Studies for the Sociology of Religion Laboratory of Saint Tikhons University. He said that the Universities are currently conducting comparative research into Religion and Models of Social and Economic Organization.

Speaking about prospects for working together in the future, Ivan Zabaev came out in support of continuing collaboration in areas like translating a whole series of Swiss academic works into Russian, a joint graduate program, and conducting further comparative studies.

The conversation also touched upon academic interests. It turns out that the Swiss Ambassador to Russia has serious interests in philosophy, including in the topic of the philosophical language of Plato. The Ambassador replied in the affirmative to an offer for him to come give a lecture at the University. There are plans for Ambassador Rossiers lecture to be delivered to students of the University as early as the coming autumn. After the event, Fr. Georgiy Orehanov, as a sign of his thanks, gave the Ambassador a book entitled Those who Suffered for Faith and the Church of Christ, 1917-1936, which was published by the University in 2012.

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