You are currently viewing the International Edition. You can also switch to the Hong Kong Edition.
Sunday 5 July 2015

Putin and Dutch king meet for a beer

10th February, 2014 by Rupert Millar

The King of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander, and Russian president Vladimir Putin, met for a beer at the Winter Olympics in Sochi at a time of tension between the two countries.

Putin sochi

Putin toasts someone at the Holland Heineken House. King Willem is seated on the left in the orange tie. Photo credit: Associated Press

The brief meeting took place at the Dutch pavilion at the Black Sea resort of Sochi where the games are being held and where Heineken has set up  the “Holland Heineken House”.

The two heads of state apparently drank a beer together and had a, seemingly very friendly, conversation about the games.

According to Voice of Russia, Putin’s opening line was: “Are there any problems or questions?”

Queen Maxima praised the volunteers who are helping visitors and the trio traded compliments on the performance of each other’s athletes so far.

Putin repeated his opening question to the Dutch gold-medal winning speedskater Ireen Wust who entered the beer house as he was leaving.

In both cases there were, it is said, no problems but Wust said afterwards that their passing meeting was warmer than straight reports might appear.

“I got a cuddle with him,” she told Dutch broadcaster NOS. “He congratulated me and asked if everything was OK in Russia and I congratulated him on (Russian speedskater) Olga Graf, of course, for her third place (in the same race Wust had won). He was happy to see me, but then he had to leave again. But I cuddled him.”

As Putin left he apparently told a reporter that the Beer House was a “good party”.

The Sochi games have proved rather controversial, largely due to Russian anti-homosexuality laws that were passed towards the end of last year.

Many participating nations have been showing support for gay issues with the Germans choosing a rainbow uniform for their athletes.

Scottish brewer, BrewDog, meanwhile has produced a “protest beer” which takes a swipe at Putin and the homosexuality laws.

Although the meeting between the Dutch king and Putin was amicable, relations between the two countries deteriorated last year due to two incidents.

The first involved the detention of a Russian diplomat in The Hague after he was accused of mistreating his two children by neighbours and police arrived to find him drunk and barely able to stand according to reports.

Meanwhile, the Green Peace ship Arctic Sunrise is registered in the Netherlands and Holland was one of the leading voices calling for the release of its crew who tried to storm a Russian oil rig and were detained on terrorism charges.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

If that's interesting, how about these?

Top 10 wine brands 2015

In a year that saw major shifts in the global wine market, the drinks business more...

World's best beer and wine festivals

Forget Glastonbury, these are the festivals you should be making a beeline for more...

Venezuela faces beer drought

Venezuela could soon entirely run out of beer as workers at the country's more...

Supplier Relationship Manager

London, United Kingdom

AB InBev invests $1.5bn in US

Brewing colossus Anheuser-Busch InBev has announced plans to invest over US$1 more...

Top 10 new craft beers

With new beers coming onto the market all the time, it can be difficult to keep more...

Beck's forced to issue $50 refunds

Anyone that has bought a Beck's beer in the past four years could be entitled more...

Sales Executive - Wines & Spirits Competitions

London, United Kingdom

Competitive

World's cheapest city for a beer revealed

The average price of a bottle of beer is £1.07 in Krakow and Kiev, making them more...

UK market in growth as price increases slow

The latest figures from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association show that more...

Coors Light heads home

Sometimes, the route to excellence is a process of devolution rather than more...

PR Manager

Competitive

UK customs seize 550,000 litres of alcohol

More than 550,000 litres of illegal beer, wine and spirits have been seized by more...

The week in pictures

Pub-friendly pooches, Kevin Spacey and a one-off tasting of Achaval Ferrer more...

Top 10 architectural wonders of the wine world

You don't have to look far to find stunning examples of architectural prowess more...

International Business Development Assistant

London, United Kingdom

To be determined, based on the profile and experience of the candidate

Lidl hints at plans for online wine shop

UK supermarket Lidl has not ruled out launching an online wine shop, reporting more...

Carlsberg creates beer-shampoo

Danish brewer Carlsberg has launched a new range of men’s grooming products more...

Beer festival in China’s Muslim area angers 'exiles'

In China’s predominantly Muslim region of Xinjiang, exiled groups of Uighur more...

London Sales Manager / Key Account Manager

London, United Kingdom

Competitive - depending on skills and experience

Diageo 'shelves' £240m Chinese scheme

Swellfun, the Chinese subsidiary of drinks giant Diageo, has reportedly more...

Queen releases Bohemian Lager

Rock band Queen have launched a lager to celebrate 40 years since the release more...

Top 10 Hong Kong craft beer bars

Anyone looking to quench their thirst with a ginseng microbrew should more...

Marketing and eCommerce Manager

London, United Kingdom

Competitive, includes equity options

UK reviewing alcohol intake guidelines

Health officials are to review the government's drinking guidelines, as more...

Chinese student builds house out of beer bottles

An engineering graduate and his father have built a two-storey house made out more...