Hockey diplomacy

Glen Pearson has lunch with the Russian ambassador.

A fascinating part of the discussion was his functioning relationship with Stephen Harper. Meeting the Prime Minister shortly after his victory in the 2006 election, they somehow wandered into the discussion of hockey and struck an immediate bond.  ”He has an adequate knowledge of Russian hockey and we sometimes just talk on the phone to discuss certain games,” he offered.  One of Mamedov’s prized possessions was an old hockey program from the 1976 series between Canada and Russia. Seeing the Prime Minister’s interest in the game, the ambassador presented the program as a gift to Stephen Harper, much to his delight. They have kept up frequent contact since.

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