Dutch-Russian Relations: a Tale of Two Disparate Cultures
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, figurehead leader of the locked up Russian Federation, began a visit to one of the most liberal nations, The Netherlands, when he landed in Amsterdam today. In town at the invitation of Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende to discuss bilateral relations between the two nations, who have a strong trading partnership, Medvedev will also meet with Dutch Queen Beatrix, the majority shareholder in Koninklijke Shell, one of the largest oil companies in the world. There is a partnership between Shell and Russian Gazprom. As far as this blogger is aware, there will be no discussion of business matters between the two heads of state. It is interesting to remark that while Beatrix is a constitutional monarch by choice of her family, Medvedev is not, and is mostly seen to be the figurehead of the former president and current prime minister of the Russian federation, Vladimir Putin.
The most likely meeting between the two will come at the opening of the new exhibit at the renovated Hermitage, a most beautiful museum dedicated to the Russian hermitage in St Petersburg, which has a permanent and very enlightening exhibit on the Russian Royal Family, and life at the Russian Court. The re-opening of the Hermitage will happen, to great fanfare I am sure, on Saturday. There is sure to be a visit not only by the Queen, but by other members of the Royal Family.
In contrast to Russia of today, the exhibits at the Hermitage show the opulence and luxury of what was once one of the grandest nations on Earth. It is interesting to note that while that opulence and luxury has gone by the wayside, the Russia of today is much more in line with the practical Dutch sensibilities of this era. None the less, I am sure that the Dutch would never consider a coup to throw off their royal family. The family is much too loved and in tune with the needs of their subjects for this to ever happen. So all in all, perhaps the partnerships of the various companies in the two countries is not all that surprising after all.Filed under The Netherlands
Tagged Bilateral Relations, Hermitage Museum, Official Visit, President Medvedev of Russia, Prime Minister Balkenende of the Netherlands, Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, Russia.