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22 Sep, 2009 11:45

First Lady presents live symbols to Swiss capital

Russia's first lady Svetlana Medvedeva has presented two bear cubs to the Swiss capital Bern during President Medvedev’s first state visit to the country.

On Tuesday, she visited the zoo where they have been living for several days now. She gave the bear cubs carrots, apples and biscuits. Svetlana Medvedeva suggested calling them Masha and Misha – traditional Russian names. Bern’s mayor, who accompanied her together with the Swiss first lady, eagerly agreed.

The bear cubs, who had lost their mother, were found in the Ussuriysk taiga in Russia’s Far East in January. They spent several months in a shelter in the city of Khabarovsk.

In turn, Mrs Medvedeva received a gift from the city of Bern – a chocolate bear and a golden pendant representing a bear cub.

The bear is also the symbol of the Swiss capital and is depicted on its coat of arms.