As international officials and journalists waited for the world leaders at the NATO summit venue on Tuesday, what baffled them was to find 'Russian Salad' on the in-house restaurant menu -- especially as at the summit, Russia was expected to be labelled as a 'security threat' due to its invasion of Ukraine.
While the melange of peas, potatoes, carrots, and mayonnaise is a staple on Spanish restaurant menus, finding it at the NATO summit left officials with a feeling of angst and shock. One of the journalists told a Spanish media outlet she was a "little surprised by that choice of dish", reported news agency Reuters. However, the dish was also sold out within hours.
Meanwhile, a more diplomatic thought was applied to the menu served to visit defence and foreign ministers at a banquet at the Baroque Santa Cruz Palace in Central Madrid on Tuesday evening. Jose Andres - the Spanish chef featured in the Netflix series Chef's Table who had coordinated the meal -- added a new name to 'Ukrainian salad' by adding 'tomato dumplings'.
The crucial three-day NATO summit began on Tuesday and is said to take place in the shadow of Putin's war and the military rise of a belligerent China. At the summit, NATO ally Turkey lifted its veto over Finland and Sweden's bid to join the Western alliance after the three nations agreed to protect each other's security. US president Joe Biden congratulated the three countries for reaching an agreement that will "pave the way for Nordic countries to join the NATO alliance".
The Russian war on Ukraine is continuing for the fourth month with no signs of peaceful resolutions. While thousands of people have been killed in the war, millions have been displaced or forced to flee the war-torn country.