Russian President Vladimir Putin was the only participant of the quadrilateral summit that took place on August 26 in Minsk who, upon arrival to the National airport did not try the bread and salt, as per the old Slavic tradition. According to our source from the technical personnel of their airport, the treat for the Russian President had been prepared and checked by the security services. Traditional girls in national dress who were supposed to bring it to him were ready as well. However, at the last moment the order came to cancel the greeting.
“The protocol service of the Belarus President organized the greeting,” the airport worker told us. “Their girls were supposed to treat Vladimir Putin with bread and salt just like they previously greeted Petro Poroshenko, Nursultan Nazarbayev, Catherine Ashton, Karel De Gucht and Herman Oettinger. All of them gladly tried the treat. However, at the last moment we got the following order: not to greet Vladimir Putin this way. As far as I know, the Russian protocol service contacted the Belarus one and expressed said demand. In the end both the girls and the bread and salt were left inside the airport’s facilities.”
Nothing is known about the motivation of the Russian President’s protocol service to disregard the ancient Slavic greeting, however it is quite easy to reach the conclusion that Vladimir Putin is simply scared witless of assassination, including that by poisoning, and he does not have complete trust in the Belarus side in regard to his own safety. So they went without the bread and salt, and instead of pretty young women, Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Miasnykovich and young men from the honorary guard greeted Vladimir Putin at the presidential Il-96 gangway.
It should be noted that Vladimir Putin arrived in the Minsk national airport 56 minutes late. All of this time, Presidents of Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, as well as the representative delegation from the European Union were patiently waiting for him at the Independence Palace. The Russian President never apologized for his almost hour-long tardiness.
Translated by Mariya Shcherbinina