When Queen Margrethe met the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, back in 2011 and 2014, she did not get a positive impression of him.
“I remember thinking he was not pleasant. I have never seen such cold eyes in my life,” the Queen said in an extensive interview with the broadsheet Weekendavisen newspaper.
In 2011, Queen Margrethe was on a state visit to Russia with Prince Henrik. At the time, Vladimir Putin was Prime Minister and the official host was then-President Dmitry Medvedev.
Three years later, she met Putin again in connection with the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings in France during the Second World War.
In the interview, the Queen said she was closely following the war in Ukraine, which began almost a year ago following Russia’s invasion.
She said she “reads all the newspapers almost daily” to keep updated on the war.
She said she was pleased that Kyiv will be receiving tanks donated by allied countries.
“They need something heavy. And they have shown that they can use it. It’s deeply impressive,” she said.
“Putin thought he could divide all of Europe but he made us all stand together. It meant something that we could all be a population that said: ‘No, this can’t be right’. That is very strong,” the Queen said.
She meanwhile praised Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and the way he “goes as one with his people”.
In her traditional New Year speech on December 31st, the Queen also sent her wishes to Ukraine.
“Heroically they fight for their freedom. That makes a strong impression on us all,” she said in the speech.
In addition to her comments on Ukraine, the Queen also spoke about her “friendly relationship” with Great Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, who died last year.
Queen Margrethe described Queen Elizabeth as a role model and mentioned their “parallel fates” of becoming monarchs despite not being born as direct heirs to their respective thrones.
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