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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-02-15

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM Papandreou arrives in Moscow

  • [01] PM Papandreou arrives in Moscow

    Prime Minister George Papandreou arrived in Moscow on Monday evening and will be holding high-level meetings on Tuesday with the Russian political leadership, President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, responding to the latter's invitation.

    A review is expected to be made, during the prime minister's meetings, of progress that has been achieved in a wide spectrum of sectors, to which bilateral cooperation is extended.

    In this framework, economic, commercial, military and political issues will be discussed. It is the Greek government's desire, on the model of very close cooperation on energy issues, as is being proved by the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline and the South Stream natural gas pipeline projects, that bilateral cooperation be extended to other sectors as well such as boosting Greek exports in the Russian market and attracting more Russian tourists (Greece supports the speedy progress of discussions on the abolition of visas for the holders of Russian passports).

    The Greek side considers as being of crucial importance for bilateral cooperation the planning of 2014 as "Greece Year" in Russia and "Russia Year" in Greece. This planning coincides with the holding of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, in 2014 and provides the opportunity for the activation of Greek companies in relevant preparations, as well as for the exchange of know-how in the wake of the extremely successful Olympic Games hosted by Athens in 2004.

    Moreover, views will be exchanged on issues of regional and international interest.

    Papandreou is being accompanied on his visit to the Russian capital by Minister of State Haris Pamboukis, Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas, the deputy responsible for energy Yiannis Maniatis, government spokesman George Petalotis and Culture Ministry Secretary General Lina Mendoni.

    Statements

    Speaking in an interview with the Russian ITAR TASS news agency, Papandreou termed the level of Greek-Russian relations excellent adding that relations between the European Union and Russia have a strategic character.

    "I express special satisfaction over my first visit to Moscow with the capacity of prime minister and I am convinced that my talks here will confirm the excellent level of our bilateral relations that reflect the traditional friendly relations of the two peoples throughout the centuries," the prime minister said.

    "The European Union's relations with Russia are strategic and are based on the common interests of the two sides both in the political and the economic sector," Papandreou said and added that "mutual dependence and mutual supplementation between the EU and Russia particularly in the sectors of energy and the economy is a fact which is widely acknowledged since Russia is the biggest supplier of energy resources for the EU."

    According to the Greek prime minister, Greece was and is absolutely and steadfastly in favour of cooperation between the North Atlantic Alliance and Russia "even in difficult periods."

    "We support the deepening of political dialogue and practical cooperation and in particular we appreciate Russia's cooperation in efforts for the stabilisation of Afghanistan," he added.

    Papandreou hailed the initiative by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev "which gave the inaugural momentum for the dialogue for a new European security architecture" that began and is developing on the basis of the so-called "Corfu Process."

    Referring to the issue of Cyprus, the prime minister said that for the success of the talks Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot community must proceed with a compromise.

    "Unfortunately, there has not been substantive progress on important issues during the 15-month talks. We are aware that the negotiations are difficult but we believe that an agreement is possible. However, if Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leadership do not show the necessary political will for compromises, corresponding to that shown by (Cyprus) President (Demetris) Christofias, then I fear that it will be very difficult for us to have success in the talks," Papandreou stressed.


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