If it's Sunday this must be St Petersburg (mustn't it, Tony?)

Andy McSmith, Political Editor, on the Prime Minister's global grand tour
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... unless it is lunchtime. In that case, Tony and the rest of us are on the road out of Geneva heading for a French town named Evian, known for its bottled water. We aren't in Poland, because that was Friday, and it cannot be Iraq, because it is raining.

The Prime Minister may be catching the bug which often afflicts leaders whose popularity has taken a dip - the urge to set off somewhere, anywhere, and be a world statesman. His week has been an orgy of travel.

It started on Wednesday, with a flight to Kuwait, where dinner with Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah at the Bayan Palace awaited. Their meeting passed in a glow of mutual gratitude. The Kuwaitis cannot thank Britain enough for helping rid them of the monster on their northern border, while Britain is in the Kuwaitis' debt for letting them shift massive quantities of military kit to their little sheikhdom.

Thursday was the Prime Minister's dress-down day. In a white shirt and blue chinos, without jacket or tie, he took a C130-J Hercules aircraft to Basra, where a whole series of meetings had been fixed for him. The serious ones - with the commander of British troops in southern Iraq, General Peter Wall, and the head of the US civilian administration, Gerry Bremer - were behind closed doors. The ceremonial ones, such as his visit to a primary school reopened with money from the British government, made good television.

There followed a five-and-a-half-our flight to Warsaw, during which, according to his staff, the Stakhanovite Prime Minister read an entire book and finished writing the long speech he delivered the next day. The book was Paradise and Power by Robert Kagan, which argues that Europe and the US are bound to go their separate ways. Mr Blair disagrees.

Friday was a suit-and-tie day. A morning press conference with the Polish Prime Minister, Leszek Miller, was followed by a rally in Warsaw's Royal Castle. Next week, the Poles will go to the polls to decide whether to join the EU. The rally was part of the campaign to induce them to say yes.

By lunchtime, Mr Blair was bound for St Petersburg, where he was joined by Cherie Blair for the biggest beano in the world, to celebrate the city's 300th anniversary. As their car sped from Pulkovo Airport to the Konstantinovsky Palace complex, so many world leaders were pouring into town that the police closed off Nevsky Prospekt, creating what must have been St Petersburg's biggest traffic jam in 300 years.

The Blairs stayed for two nights in a VIP cottage in the grounds of the Konstantinovsky. Their schedule allowed them just 20 minutes to freshen up before a car took them to the city's most famous monument, the Bronze Horseman, where President Putin and his wife were throwing a champagne reception held undercover because of a ferocious downpour. After a bus ride to nearby St Isaac's Cathedral to meet the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Vladimir, they were taken to a concert at the Mariinsky Theatre. The evening was rounded off by dinner aboard the Silver Whisper ship, on the River Neva.

Saturday began with serious business for Mr Blair, the Russia-EU summit, while Cherie was taken off to a fashion parade. They rejoined each other for a lunch which lasted until 4pm, a ride on a hydrofoil and yet another dinner. Mr Blair was then due to fly to Geneva early this morning, to be taken by car to Evian for the G8 summit of the world's richest nations, which ends on Tuesday. Then back to Downing Street. Phew.

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