As both sides mark the adverse effects of anti-Russia sanctions imposed by the European Union and Russia’s food embargo reciprocally slapped on EU countries, Moscow has offered Greece a way out of the current dilemma.
According to a source in Russia’s foreign policy circles speaking with Izvestia, an idea to skirt sanctions by creating joint ventures has been voiced within the Russian-Greek Commission on Economic, Industrial and Scientific and Technical Cooperation.
“Russia cannot make an exception for one country, so Moscow has offered mixed production,” the source said, adding that the issue had been raised at the Athens talks, referring to the recent visit by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to the country and his meeting with Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos.
Greece used to be a major supplier of agricultural products to Russia prior to the sanctions, and has seen bigger losses than many of its colleagues in the European Union, the newspaper writes. Trade turnover between the countries plunged 39.2% in 2014 and by another 34% in 2015, Izvestia says with reference to data provided by the Federal Customs Service. Meanwhile, in January-July 2016, Russian-Greek trade turnover dropped 9.8% year-on-year. Also, tourist flows from Russia to Greece have jumped by more than 20% in the first half of this year compared with the same period in 2015.