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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-06-25

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] FM speaks to ITAR-TASS

  • [01] FM speaks to ITAR-TASS

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, speaking in an interview Thursday with the Russian ITAR-TASS news agency, stressed that Greece is looking forward with great interest to its multilevel cooperation with Russia, it attributes strategic importance to Greek-Russian relations and believes in a unified, undivided and peaceful Europe, without dividing lines and without exclusions.

    Speaking in light of this weekeend's Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Corfu meeting, Bakoyannis underlined that "the Greek OSCE Presidency expressed from the very first moment its readiness to promote the dialogue on European Security, within the Organisation's framework, which constitutes the exclusive paneuropean dialogue forum," since "Greece believes in a unified, undivided and peaceful Europe, without dividing lines and without exclusions, and it equally believes in dialogue as a means for resolving differences and for the restoration of a climate of trust."

    Referring to Greek-Russian cooperation, the foreign minister termed the two countries' political relations excellent and expressed the Greek side's appreciation for the Russian stance on the issue of Cyprus, as well as for good cooperation between Moscow and Athens in international fora, while noting that "in the economic sector, our relations have been characterised over the recent period by special mobility and are presenting interesting prospects despite the international economic crisis," adding that "we are attributing particular emphasis to our cooperation in the energy sector, which includes important projects that have been selected with the sole criterion of national interest, as well as the energy security of Europe in its entirety."

    Speaking to ITAR-TASS's correspondent on existing energy plans, Bakoyannis said that with regard to the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline, its construction "constitutes a top priority project for the Greek government and one of special importance for the wider region."

    She assessed that the project is proceeding in accordance with the timetable, since "the law on expropriations on Greek territory is expected to be prepared by the end of the year and agreements will be signed for the pipeline's passing between the joint venture of companies that has undertaken the construction and the two stipulating countries, from where the pipeline will be crossing" and that is expected to function "around the end of 2011."

    Focusing on the South Stream natural gas pipeline, which will be passing through Greece, Bulgaria and ending in Italy, Bakoyannis noted that Greece is closely watching developments regarding its construction plan and, following the creation of a joint company that will build the pipeline's Greek section, the expediency plan is expected within the current year.

    "The construction of the South Stream pipeline, particularly after the decision on doubling its capacity, is a project of great importance for the European energy market. Combined with the North Stream (Russia-Germany) pipeline they will contribute decisively to strengthening energy security in Europe, in the framework of our declared policy on the diversification of energy sources and corridors on our continent," Bakoyannis added.

    Commenting on the upcoming first foreign ministers session of the NATO-Russia Council in Corfu, following last year's crisis in Georgia, Bakoyannis stressed that its main goal is restoring a climate of trust and transparency between the two sides and strengthening political dialogue and practical cooperation, while underlining that "Greece has always been a defender of cooperation between NATO-Russia and, consequently, we are in favour of the full activation once again of all the works of the NATO-Russia Council, on an equal basis, given Russia's special weight in the international security system as well."

    Lastly, replying to a question on the proposal made by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on a new security architecture in Europe, Bakoyannis said that "Greece hailed the proposal by President Medvedev from the very beginning as being an invitation for dialogue on security problems, both old and new, that Europe is facing. Twenty years after the end of the Cold War we have taken great steps, but we must all acknowledge with sincerity that many things have yet to be done. Consequently, the proposal by President Medvedev constitutes an opportunity for substantive dialogue on security in Europe. The Greek OSCE Presidency embraced it from the very beginning."

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