Russian President on visit to Portugal.jpg

Russian President on visit to Portugal

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT Dmitry Medvedev made a brief stop-over in Lisbon on Friday on his way to the Asian Pacific Economic Forum in Lima, Peru.

It is the first time that the Russian head of state, who met with both Prime Minister José Sócrates and President Cavaco Silva, has visited Portuguese soil.

The brief meeting took place only days after Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, held talks with his opposite number Luís Amado on various issues including bi-lateral trade agreements, the financial crisis, the NATO Strategic Defence Shield, the Middle East, Africa, Iraq and Iran.

Cavaco Silva met the Russian President at the Hotel Fortaleza do Guincho.

Relations between Russia and Portugal turned frosty last year after top Russian cultural officials allegedly ridiculed Portugal’s organisation of a bi-lateral art and culture agreement involving a semi-permanent exhibition of treasure from the Russian State Hermitage Collection.

However, Russia sees Portugal as an honest and useful broker in Europe and a springboard to African and Latin American countries because of her friendly relations with larger economic neighbours such as Spain, the United Kingdom, France and Germany.

Neither party divulged the contents of closed talks, which were expected to be on a wide range of international issues.