A meeting between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Russian President Vladimir Putin got underway at the Kremlin on Friday.
“I welcome you to Moscow with pleasure,” the Russian President said, as he welcomed the Greek prime minister while pointing out that “this year marks the 190th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two countries.”
“We will have the opportunity to talk about increasing our trade exchanges and, of course, to discuss international issues and how these are evolving in the wider region,” Putin said.
On his part, Tsipras said he is happy to be in Moscow after three and a half years, noting that much had changed since that time. “Greece is in a better position financially, though international developments remain critical,” he said and added: “The historical relations of cooperation between our two countries remain necessary in order to create the conditions for stability, peace and cooperation in the region.”
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is in Moscow on an official visit in an effort to reboot the Greek-Russian relations, which had gone sour due to the expulsion of Russian diplomats last summer.
“Despite the difficulties that our relations have sometimes experienced, I maintain with President Vladimir Putin a sincere and substantial relationship,” Tsipras said in an interview with Russia 24 ahead of his visit.
Tsipras lay a wreath at the Unknown Soldier’s Monument in the Alexander Garden on Friday morning, before meeting with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev at the latter’s holiday house.
The Greek Prime Minister is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in the Kremlin, followed by a working lunch and the signing of bilateral agreements. After the meeting, Alexis Tsipras and Vladimir Putin will hold a joint press conference.
Tsipras’ meeting with the Russian President will also focus on the Cyprus issue and the importance of Russia’s role in favour of a just and viable solution, developments in the energy sector, the role of Greece, EU-Russia relations and their role in the region and global security, the prospects for Syria and Libya, respect for international law and the elimination of tension in the Black Sea, where tens of thousands of people of Greek descent live.