Putin visiting Edinburgh

Russian President, Vladimir Putin is visiting Edinburgh today as part of the first state visit of a Russian leader since Tsar Alexander II in 1874. The historic visit celebrates 450 years of diplomatic relations with Russia and the 300th Anniversary of St. Petersburg, Putin's hometown. It looks like it's going to be a gorgeous day for it too.

Reading around the papers the visit is characterised as "Blair seeking to make amends", "Putin seeking to make amends" or "Blair & Putin working together"!

More significantly though, the UK is now the largest investor in Russia and EU enlargement will see Russia becoming a neighbour. Our continued success is dependent on their success and ever closer working relations are always worth working for.

An interesting aside, which I read somewhere and can't remember where, is the apparent fact that a U.S. President has never been on a state visit to the U.K., due apparently to a requirement for travel in open top carriages being too much for the U.S. Treasury's heavy squad to cope with. A state visit is different to an official visit or any other kind of visit for that matter, you get to stay as a guest of HM QE II at Buckingham Palace for a start.

Posted by Paul at June 25, 2003 04:47 AM |
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