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Dmitry Medvedev arrived in Denmark on a state visit

April 27, 2010, Copenhagen

This is the first visit by a Russian leader to Denmark in fifty years.

The President of Russia and his wife were met at the airport by HM Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Prince Consort Henrik.

A state dinner was held at the royal summer residence – the Fredensborg Palace – on behalf of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Prince Consort Henrik in honour of Dmitry and Svetlana Medvedev.


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Speech at State Dinner on Behalf of HM Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Prince Consort Henrik in Honour of Dmitry and Svetlana Medvedev

President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Your Majesty, Your Royal Highnesses, ladies and gentlemen,

First, please allow me to express my gratitude to Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and His Royal Highness Prince Consort Henrik for inviting us to make a state visit to your country.

I would like to thank all our Danish friends for a warm welcome, for the kind words about Russia and its people that were just expressed by Her Majesty, and for the special atmosphere of trust and openness that helps us reach significant results.

This is my second visit to Denmark. Its beauty and uniqueness is captured with astounding accuracy in the works of Hans Christian Andersen. It is no wonder that this nation is home to the happiest people on earth. The Danes’ love toward their country, their kindness, and their hard work are deeply respected.

Being here at the Fredensborg Palace, it is impossible not to recall all the dynastic ties that bind our nations. After all, as long ago as in the 12th century, Valdemar I the Great, a brilliant Danish ruler, was named after his great-grandfather, the Grand Prince Vladimir Monomakh, and then married Sofia, the daughter of Prince Vladimir of Novgorod.

The marriage of Princess Dagmar of Denmark and the Grand Prince and then Russian Emperor Alexander III which created a marital bond between the great dynasties of the Oldenborgs and the Romanovs was a special page in the history of our bilateral relations and our countries cherish the memory of Empress Maria Fedorovna, the mother of Nicholas II, the last monarch of Russia.

Relations between Russia and Denmark are an example of good-neighbourliness in Europe. It is symbolic that our first bilateral document was an agreement with a very interesting title, On Devotion and Brotherhood. In more than half a millennium of its existence (it will be 517 years old on November 8), it has not once been broken by declaring war, even in spite of the unfortunate incident that was mentioned by His Highness, but served as a strong foundation for building trust between people, their peaceful life, and active business ties.

There are many Danes among those who helped expound Russia’s wealth and glory and their names are well-known. Vitus Bering’s expeditions to Kamchatka Peninsula had enormous significance for exploring the territories of the Russian Far East; in his Russian service, he attained the rank of Captain-Commander in the navy. The Explanatory Dictionary of the Living Great Russian Language, compiled by Vladimir Dal, of Danish origin, had an immense influence on the development of Russia’s literature and it has not lost its scientific relevance by now.

Dear friends, we are here in Denmark on the eve of a memorable date, the 65th anniversary of the victory over Nazism. This was a truly great event, not only for Europe, but for the entire world.

The Soviet Army liberated the peoples of Europe from Nazi occupation and participated in the liberation of Denmark. On May 9, 1945 the Soviet assault forces completed their military operation on the Island of Bornholm. I know that the Danes honour the memory of the Soviet troops who died in those days, and Russia appreciates this deeply.

Our longstanding traditions of cooperation help us successfully develop our relations in current conditions, boosting them with new, substantial business, environmental, humanitarian and other projects. Tomorrow, the Prime Minister of Denmark and I will sign the Partnership for Modernisation declaration which is of prime importance for Russia as this strategic document will offer broad opportunities for Danish businesses to participate in laying the foundations of an innovative economy in our nation, which means that it will truly bring our cooperation to a new level.

I would like to propose a toast to the health and well-being of Your Majesty, Your Royal Highnesses, and to further strengthening of our bilateral cooperation and good-neighbourly relations.

April 27, 2010, Copenhagen