Queen of Denmark to visit Russia at invitation of Medvedev

MOSCOW, September 6 (Itar-Tass) — Queen Margrethe II of Denmark will pay a state visit to Russia on September 6-9 at the invitation of President Dmitry Medvedev.

This will be her second visit 36 years after the first trip to Russia.

Medvedev will meet with Margrethe II on Tuesday, September 6. On Wednesday, September 7, Dmitry and Sevtlana Medvedevs, Queen Margrethe II and Prince Consort Henrik will attend the opening ceremony at the Danish-Russian photo exhibition “Arctic” at the Moscow House of Photography.

Queen Margrethe II was in Moscow in Soviet times, in 1975. She met Medvedev in April 2010 when he was in Denmark on a state visit.

This time the queen will be accompanied by her husband, Prince Consort Henrik, and their son, Crown Prince Frederik.

The queen is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, as well as Federation Council and State Duma leaders. Members of the royal family will visit several big Danish companies in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

The queen said earlier she hoped that her upcoming state visit to Russia in September would “give an impetus” to trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.

The queen met with a group of Russian journalists at her summer residence in Grasten, South Denmark, ahead of her visit to Moscow.

Prince Consort Henrik, who also attended the meeting, stressed that the Danish queen would be accompanied by “the biggest delegation of businessmen in the history of her state visits” of which she has made about 40.

Margrethe II said she was looking forward to travelling to Russia where much has changed since 1975 when she visited the country for the first time and has heard many times from her husband, who has been to Russia several times since then, and from numerous friends how beautiful St. Petersburg and Moscow are, and she wants to see them with her own eyes.

During the trip to St. Petersburg, the queen plans to visit the tomb of Empress Maria Fyodorovna, former Princess Dagmara of Denmark. Her reburial in St. Petersburg was of great importance because the whole Danish Royal family knew that Maria Fyodorovna loved Russia, she lived her life with Russia and her last will was that she should be laid to rest in Russia.

Margrethe II said she also had other family ties with Russia that go far back into history.

Replying to an ITAR-TASS question what in Russian art and culture had inspired her artistic creativity, the queen said she has a collection of Russian folk fairytales in English in her library and she was “very much inspired by the illustrations created by artist Ivan Bilibin”.

Her Majesty also mentioned her visit to a London exhibition on Diaghilev’s ballet where she had seen “absolutely splendid costumes”.

The Kremlin said “a great deal of attention [at the talks] will be paid to pressing issues of trade, economic and investment cooperation”.

More than 100 Danish businessmen will accompany the queen on the visit. She will attend the commissioning ceremony at a plant of the Vanish concern Grundfos, visit the Admiralty Shipyard, Baltika beer brewery, and the Moscow office of the Danish company Rockwool.

The queen will also attend the opening of the second meeting of the Russian-Danish business forum.

“Russian-Danish trade turnover in 2010 was 3.3 billion U.S. dollars. It grew by 21.3 percent in January-June 2011 to 1.9 billion U.S. dollars. Accumulated Danish investments in the Russian economy have reached 2 billion U.S. dollars, the biggest part of which is direct investments that go into the creation of highly efficient production facilities and the real sector of the economy. More than 200 Danish companies are operating in 25 Russian regions. About 20 percent of them have organised their own production in Russia,” a Kremlin official told Itar-Tass on Monday, September 5.

“Traditionally, energy partnership is a key aspect of bilateral relations, and the construction of the Nord Stream pipeline is of special importance,” he added.

The Kremlin believes that “considerable prospects for interaction with Denmark exist in the sphere of modernisation and innovation”.

The two countries are “working on a programme to be signed after a meeting between the president of Russia and the queen of Denmark to implement the Declaration of Partnership for Modernisation between the Russian Federation and the Kingdom of Denmark in 2011-2012”, the Kremlin official said.

Several other bilateral documents are expected to be signed during the visit as well.

Timed to coincide with the Danish queen’s visit are an exhibition of classical Danish paintings called “Danish Masters of 1800-1850” at Moscow’s Pushkin Fine Arts Museum, the exhibition “Princess Dagmar and the Russian Fleet” at the Museum of Military History, and the conference “Literary and Cultural Ties between Denmark and Russia” at the St. Petersburg University.

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