Tuesday 19 October 2010 will become historically significant and memorable day for Russia and the United Kingdom. The grand opening of new Russian masts on the legendary HMS Belfast will take place in London. The restoration project of masts began in April 2009 at Severnaya Verf shipyard in St. Petersburg. Russian veterans of the Arctic convoys from Arkhangelsk, Yuri Kopytov and Georgi Evtukov, with support from Petropavlovsk Group and VTB Capital, will arrive in London to attend the official ceremony.
Masts restoration project was supported by Russian companies United Industrial Corporation, Severstal and Sovkomflot, in recognition of the heroism of the Arctic Convoys 1941-1945. HMS Belfast, which stands on the River Thames in London, is "the last witness" and the only remaining warship that escorted convoys during the Second World War.
The ceremony will be attended by the head of the Russian presidential administration Sergei Naryshkin, Chairman of the Imperial War Museum Sir Peter Squire, Admiral Lord Alan West, Phil Reed (HMS Belfast), Sergei Pugachev, and Andrey Fomichev (United Industrial Corporation), Sergey Frank and Lord Fairfax (Sovkomflot), Peter Hambro and Pavel Maslovsky (Petropavlovsk), Alexey Yakovitsky (VTB Capital), Russian and British veterans of the Arctic convoys, other dignitaries and distinguished guests.
The Head of the annual Victory Day celebrations in London and Chairman of Russia's Finance & Investments Market Players Club, Eugene Kasevin, who is accompanying Russian veterans on their trip to London, said that "this restoration project of HMS Belfast masts is a brilliant example of Russian generosity and respect for the historical friendship between Russia and Britain."