Friday, May 1, 2009

From Russia With Love

Failte go Luxembourg, Comrade!

Russia’s Foreign Minister could have been forgiven for thinking his pilots had got their map reading wrong, when he emerged from his Government jet in Luxembourg to get a red carpet greeting by our own Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin.

Minister Sergey Lavrov got a warm Cead Mile Failte to Luxembourg from Minister Martin in an encounter that would normally take months of frantic diplomatic efforts.

The chance meeting happened when the arrival of the Russian Minister coincided with the departure of Minister Martin from EU talks back to Ireland.

Both men literally bumped into each other on the runway and warmly exchanged greetings.

All waiting Luxembourg officials could do was watch on from the terminal building.

Minister Lavrov is hotly tipped as a future Russian leader and a friend that many nations have been courting, however most of Minister Martin’s EU colleagues missed their chance by leaving the Luxembourg talks early.

Last September the Russian was in Dublin for lengthy talks with Micheal Martin on a range of issues including new business opportunities for Irish companies, which will help secure jobs at home.

This was later followed up with an Enterprise Ireland Investment Conference which was attended by the Russian deputy Prime Minister.

Airport summits between both countries have a colourful history with Boris Yeltsin famously failing to emerge from his jet at Shannon – but this weeks runway encounter shows Moscow’s diplomacy now comes ‘From Russia with Love’!

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