Valery Shlyamin: Diplomat, Scientist, Writer

17 April 2019
Petrozavodsk State University hosted a presentation of " Notes of an Economic Diplomat. Reflecting on the Past".

Petrozavodsk State University hosted a presentation of Notes of an Economic Diplomat. Reflecting on the Past.

The author of the book Valery Shlyamin, Doctor of Economic Sciences, Advisor to the Rector, academic director of the Institute of Northern European Studies of PetrSU, Trade Commissioner of Russia in Finland (2003-2017) is a man well-known in economic, diplomatic and academic communities of Karelia, Russia, and the countries of the Northern Europe.

The magnitude of his character and his contribution to the development of our region and the country predetermined the interest in his book, which the media has begun to show long before the official presentation.

Family members, friends, and colleagues came to personally congratulate the author on his book. Valery Shlyamin confessed that he dedicated his book to them.


“When my state service was over I thought that I had to share with young people, as well as with my peers, what had happened in the last 40 years. In order to understand what we take with us to the future. How to develop and preserve great Russia? We face many challenges brought forth by the modern times that we are yet to face. I dared to pick up a pen as I am convinced that when you have thoughts to share you should do that,” said Valery Shlyamin.

It is no coincidence that the fourth chapter of the book focuses on the issues of strategic planning in Karelia and Russia.

The book combines account of events in personal life of Valery Shlyamin with the memories of family, childhood, adolescence and the beginning of the career during the construction of Kostomuksha Mining and Processing Plant, leading positions in the city of Kostomuksha, Chairman of the State Committee for Statistics of the Republic of Karelia, Minister for Foreign Relations of Karelia, and Trade Commissioner of the Russian Federation in Finland.

The book and its presentation became contemplation on pressing and relevant issues and topics shared by the author. Here are some excerpts from his presentation.

·         My greatest friend is the university. I owe a lot to it, including an amazing education. The level of engineering training was so high that we could be on the same page with Finnish colleagues, Englishmen. Many seek to enroll in prestigious universities of Moscow and Saint Petersburg, yet I am convinced that 80% of personal success depends not on a university, but on a student and on the study conditions created for him or her. It is a great honour for me to return to Petrozavodsk State University and be of help to youth. Three generations of my family have studied at the university. The university is commendable!


·         I work at the university and see among students and teachers outstanding people. I am glad that even among the 2nd year students I see potentially strong personalities. Will we be able to take note of them, provide conditions for their growth and social elevator? The task of the government and the existing parties is to notice these young people. And we will try to do it at the university.

·         Russia is a great country. It is one of the mainstream countries with profound culture. We have superb traditions in education; we had and still have an outstanding school of sciences.  We should not forget ourselves and honour our teachers instead of blindly following the western practices.

·         To these days the Finns are one of the largest technology partners of Russia open to technological operations. This is the unique character of our neighbor. I am proud to work together with Finland and distinguished representatives of this country.

·         Students’ teams are a great school of life. I am happy that this tradition is continued.


The guests of the presentation shared their impressions of the book.

Anatoly Voronin, the Rector of PetrSU:

“We all know Valery as an amazing orator. It is a great pleasure to listen to him. His speech is elegantly structured. He is a true diplomat. Now we discover him as a writer with the eloquent turn of phrase, underlying logic, and captivating insights to history. In the Notes, Valery talks both about the past and the future, delicately and unassumingly. I think that these are not merely memoirs but also opinion journalism and strategic thinking of philosophical scale. I wish you many more new books.”

Elissan Shandalovich, the Chairman of the Legislative Assembly of the Republic of Karelia:

“It was an interesting read, I’ve put so many bookmarks that it now resembles a textbook. I should mention that this book is filled with respect to people you remember. Economists, specialists in management, young people, and readers of all ages will learn a lot from the book. I thank you for the book. It is a success! I hope there will be a continuation as I would love to read it.”

Andrey Mazurovsky, the chief editor of the Nika+ TV channel, Deputy of the Legislative Assembly of the Republic of Karelia:

“I am lucky. I have known Valery since school. We went hand in hand: he in his path while I followed mine. We often meet and most importantly we have the same world view. To me, Valery is an Old Russian intelligentsia, an extinct generation. His contribution to the Republic, the university is yet to be appraised.”

Victor Stepanov, Deputy of the Legislative Assembly of the Republic of Karelia:

“I read the book carefully. I should say that the book is unbiased. This is not a memoir but rather a viewpoint of a noted scientist, economist, and philosopher on the current events.”

The monograph was prepared for publication by the Publishing House of Petrozavodsk State University.

The book will be distributed in the administrative bodies, higher educational institutions and scientific organizations of the country and the Republic, libraries in the cities and regions of Karelia.

The event took place in the Scientific Library of PetrSU. The employees of the Library have prepared an exhibition of works by Valery Shlyamin.


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