Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The stamp that never been issued.

This stamp depicting Swedes throwing their flags and standards at the Peter I’s feet after the battle of Poltava was almost ready to be issued to mark the 250th anniversary of the Battle in 1959. But Nikita Khrushchev, the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union has scheduled his visit to Sweden for the summer 1959, so this stamp has never came into the market and turned into rarity. It is well known that this visit to Sweden, and to Norway and Denmark as well, was cancelled at the last moment. The reason was President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s invitation to visit the USA received by the Soviet leader shortly before his scheduled Scandinavian trip. Later on Khrushchev recalled that “According to the etiquette, we had to visit the countries that had invited us earlier. But America attracted us more. The USA is the key capitalist power”. Khrushchev’s visit to Scandinavia was cancelled under an official pretext that a noisy anti-Soviet campaign had developed in those countries on its eve. Only five years later, on June 16, 1964 - Soviet Premier arrived in Copenhagen on first leg of an official visit to Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.