Comment by the Information and Press Department on Greek Foreign Minister Nikolaos Kotzias’ visit to Russia
On June 12-14, Foreign Minister of Greece Nikolaos Kotzias will be in Moscow on a working visit. On June 13, he will have talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, during which the two ministers plan to review the status of, and the outlook for relations between Russia and Greek in various areas.
The parties are expected to focus on trade, economic and investment cooperation, as well as energy sector cooperation, and analyse the status of the legal and contractual basis underlying the relations between the two countries.
Moscow and Athens take similar approaches to the majority of global and regional issues and believe that they should only be resolved by political and diplomatic means. This has created a good platform for cooperation between the two countries at international organisations and forums.
We expect to have a useful discussion on international affairs, including the developments in the Middle East and Ukraine, as well as the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans. A topic of mutual interest is the protection of the Christian population in the Middle East.
The countries are working together to maintain the high dynamism of the political dialogue and carry out the agreements reached at the top level, including during the meeting of President Vladimir Putin and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on the sidelines of the International Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in May 2017.
Despite the unfavourable international backdrop, the countries managed to spur the continued growth of bilateral trade: last year, it grew by 27.4 percent to US$3.7 billion. The upward trend continued into 2018. The Joint Russian-Greek Commission for Economic, Industrial, Scientific and Technological Cooperation, as well as the task groups at the commission are playing a key role in coordinating trade and economic cooperation.
This year, our countries will mark two major events: one is the 190th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations (September 18, or September 6, according to the Julian calendar, 1828) and the other is the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation (June 30, 1993). Currently, preparations are being made to mark these events.
Tourists from Russia to Greece reached 856,200 last year, nearing previous levels. The Year of Tourism Programme that has been carried out since September 2017 has built on the momentum given to cooperation between the two countries by activities under the Year of Russia in Greece and the Year of Greece in Russia in 2016.
The visit of the Greek Foreign Minister to Moscow will certainly contribute to the continued development of effective cooperation between Russia and Greece and their mutual understanding in international affairs.