McAleese begins Russian trade trip
President Mary McAleese will begin a four day official visit to Russia on Tuesday to build business links with the country.
During her trip to Moscow and St Petersburg the President and junior minister Billy Kelleher will lead a trade delegation of 30 Irish companies and agencies.
She will also hold talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in the Kremlin on Thursday.
After arriving on Tuesday Ms McAleese will make a courtesy call on the Mayor of Moscow, Yury Luzhkov, before addressing an Enterprise Ireland dinner and a business network breakfast the following morning.
On Wednesday the President, who will be accompanied by her husband Dr Martin McAleese, will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
She will also address a Russia-Ireland Forum on Nanotechnology, meet His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church and attend a performance of traditional Irish music and dance hosted by the Irish Ambassador, Philip McDonagh.
Ms McAleese will deliver an address, Ireland and Russia in the 21st Century, at the Diplomatic Academy of Foreign Affairs on Thursday before travelling to St Petersburg to visit the Memorial to the Siege of Leningrad.
Among engagements on Friday are a lunch hosted by Governor of St Petersburg Valentina Matvienko and a visit to the State Heritage Museum where she will attend a performance of Irish music and dance to celebrate the cultural links between Ireland and Russia.
Before leaving for Dublin on Saturday she will visit Catherine Palace.