Greece-Russia relations enter new era

Greece-Russia relations enter new era

Moscow, April 9, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

With a wide agenda that includes Russian investment, energy, tourism, trade, exports of Greek agricultural products and the signature program of joint actions in the two years 2015-2016, Putin-Tsipras talks were completed in the Kremlin. The Prime Minister spoke of a new Spring in Greek-Russian relations, stressing that it is a non-negotiable right of the country to pursue a multidimensional foreign policy, respecting its obligations to international organisations involved.

The two leaders clarified that Greece has not requested financial aid from Moscow.

Greece is not a beggar, the problem is European and as such a European solution must be found, the Greek prime minister said.

Earlier, the Prime Minister had laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Red Square, in memory of the millions who gave their lives for the victory over fascism in the Second World War.

Their concern on whether the trip of Tsipras to Moscow would jeopardise the common EU line against Russia, expressed both the European Commission and the EU Parliament. One concern, however, large international networks do not seem to share.

Of “historical significance” characterise Government circles the meeting of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras with the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, stressing that this marks the reestablishment and restart the Greek-Russian relations. The talks took place in an excellent and constructive atmosphere at all levels, which was reflected both in the agreements and the statements made, the same circles remark.

They also state that there is an extensive interest from the Russian side for investment in various sectors of the economy, while simultaneously opened the way for the construction of a greek gas pipeline which will start from the Turkish border, cross the Greek territory and then be directed towards Europe.

Financing will be on the basis of private capital and it will be compatible with European law and regulations of the EU, said the same circles, stressing there will be great benefits from the construction of the pipeline, which will involve lower gas prices and trading that is estimated at several hundred thousand euros annually.

They note further that according to the Russian president, the two sides are examining the possibility of direct payment of future profits for several years and repayment after the start of the pipeline’s operation.

Still further, according to the same cycles, a formula is proposed for the possibility of greek exports of agricultural products to the russian market through the establishment of joint Greek-Russian companies.

Finally, Russian President donated to the Greek prime minister the image of St. Nicholas and St. Spyridon, which had been stolen during the occupation by Nazi officer, Miller, from a monastery of Sparta. Miller became known in history as the butcher Crete for ordering the massacre in Viannos.

He was arrested by the Russians who turned him over to the local authorities and was executed in Crete in 1947. The Russian government bought the picture from their relatives in order to donate it to the Greek State.