LONDON, November 20. /TASS/. Nadey Hakim, professor of transplantation surgery at Imperial College London, Vice President British Red Cross, who has been awarded the Order of Friendship for his contribution to the development of cooperation between the United Kingdom and Russia, hopes to see ties between the two countries restored, he said in an interview with TASS.
"I think the bridges have to be rebuilt. I know for a fact that His Excellency Mr. Kelin is very much working on this and I am very happy to advance this particular approach to building a stronger relationship with Russia once again," he said.
In a conversation with TASS, Hakim expressed regret that the UK press, in his opinion, publishes a lot of inaccurate information about Russia, "as if we are dealing with someone we can't even speak to". "I find it completely unacceptable," he added.
"Most of my Russian friends in London were happy for me to get it, saying it's fantastic, and there was a minority of Russians, who can't go back home, because they are most probably personae non grata, were saying ‘Why are you accepting this, you shouldn't be accepting this’ and I said ‘I'm sorry, I'm very proud of this and the fact Russian president has approved this’. I've only seen good things coming out of Russia myself and the experience I had with every single Russian in London and in Russia and in the States has been absolutely fantastic," he shared.
The decree on awarding Hakim with the Order of Friendship for his contribution to the development of friendship, cooperation, and mutual understanding between Russia and the UK was published on the official Internet portal of legal information on November 18.
"My links with Russia date from 1989, the first time I went to Moscow. It's been many years now, but I've been there a few times. I've been involved in the collaboration between Russia and the UK on many fronts - medical, science, research, music, and art. So those are the aspects I've been contributing to, developing those links between the two nations," he noted.
Professor Hakim is known among his acquaintances and colleagues not only as one of the leading specialists in the field of transplantation in the UK, but also as a polyglot, clarinet musician, and talented sculptor. In recent years he became interested in creating sculptural portraits of heads of state and government of different countries of the world. Among his works are bronze busts of Queen Elizabeth II, President of France Emmanuel Macron, former President of the United States Donald Trump, Prime Minister of the UK Boris Johnson, and President of Russia Vladimir Putin.
"Correct, I love doing it. I've done a sculpture of president Putin and one copy is already at the Russian embassy in London and I've done a second copy, which is already physically in Moscow. I'm hoping when I end up going there, hopefully in the new year, I might be able to offer it to the president myself because I'm very proud of it. It depicts the president with his very strong personality and presence and whoever looks at it says it's really one of the best I've done," he shared.