The last Emperor of Russia, Nicholas II, exchanging kisses with soldiers. Although cheek kissing is not as widely practiced in some parts of Europe, it is still commonplace. It is mostly used as a greeting and/or a farewell, but can also be offered as a congratulation or as a general declaration of friendship. Cheek kissing is associated with the middle and upper classes, as they are more influenced by French culture. It’s a tradition in Russia to kiss on alternate cheeks three times, instead of one or two.