Bilateral relations between Greece and Russia to dominate talks between Lavrov and Kotzias

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will be received by Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos on Wednesday, at 10:00. At 10:45 he will meet with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, at Maximos Mansion.

Afterwards, Lavrov and the Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias will attend the start of the 4th Greek-Russian Social Forum opening at the Zappeion building in central Athens.

Lavrov is to then accompany Kotzias to the Byzantine and Christian Museum for the opening of the “The State Hermitage: Gateway to History” exhibition and the two men are then scheduled to have a one-on-one meeting at the foreign ministry.

Following the meeting, there is to be a ceremony for the official signature of the Greek and Russian foreign ministries’ consultations programme for 2017-2019, followed by joint statements to the press.

On Wednesday afternoon, Kotzias will attend a ceremony naming Lavrov an honorary doctor of Piraeus University.
Lavrov’s visit in Athens is considered very important for Greece in the current fragile international situation and it is expected to confirm and deepen the good relations between the two countries. Greece, as Kotzias has stressed, believes in the need for open channels of communication with Russia.

The bilateral relations in political cooperation, economy, energy and investments, developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East, with focus on Cyprus and Syria, will dominate the talks between Lavrov with his Greek counterpart.

Special emphasis will be given on developments in Cyprus, and the Greek Foreign Minister will outline Greece’s position regarding the need for the removal of guarantees and the Turkish troops from Cyprus. Kotzias will also underline the necessity to maintain open channels of communication with Russia estimating that it would be counterproductive at this critical juncture for the international political balance to consolidate a new, cold war type West-Russia confrontation.

The basic principle of the bilateral relations between Greece and Russia, as it has been stressed, is dialogue and mutual respect.