Source: President of Russia – The Kremlin – English
Beginning of Russian-Greek talks
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, good afternoon. I am happy to see you.
Thank you very much for accepting the invitation and coming to Russia.
Opening our meeting, I would like to say a few traditional but nevertheless very important things. They have to do with the special affinity between our peoples, with our history – 2021 is the Russia-Greece Cross Year of History, a project that also coincided with the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution. As you know, Russia made a significant contribution to the achievement of the goals that the Greek people had.
I would like to note that our ties are developing rather positively today. Whereas last year we saw a decline in trade of about 35 percent, this year we recorded an increase of 56 percent. We have practically reached the pre-pandemic level.
I know that you have met with Russian Government members, and good agreements have been reached. We are close to signing the relevant agreements.
We will certainly discuss all these matters, and others that are of interest to us, during today’s meeting, formally as well as informally over lunch.
Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis Mitsotakis KyriakosPrime Minister of Greece (retranslated): Mr President,
Thank you very much for the invitation to visit Sochi and to meet with you, and for your warm welcome.
I am pleased to visit the Russian Federation during this significant year, the year of the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution – an event that inextricably links our two countries. That revolution led to the creation of an independent Greek state, and we never forget that Russia played a significant role. The great powers of that time helped Greece find the strength to become a modern independent state.
Our agreement to hold the Russia-Greece Cross Year of History in 2020–2021 was of great importance. The project can serve as an impetus and springboard for further strengthening our close mutual relations, including economic ties, as the Greek economy has grown significantly of late, despite the pandemic conditions we are facing.
And, accordingly, there are good prospects for increasing our bilateral trade and economic cooperation, as well as developing cooperation in the field of tourism.
I also believe that we will further discuss a number of issues, including some matters on the regional agenda, given that Russia is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and plays a significant role in many developments – almost all of them – in the region and in the world.
Thank you once again for giving me an opportunity to visit Sochi, a region that is home to many of my compatriots, Russian citizens of Greek descent. This is not my first visit to Sochi, but nevertheless, it is my first visit as Prime Minister. I was in Sochi 30 years ago as part of my father’s delegation when he visited the Soviet Union. He also visited Anapa and Gelendzhik that time.
So, thank you very much.