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Athens and Moscow Search For Ways to Warm Their Chilly Relationship

Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on Wednesday expressed hope that today’s meeting with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, will mark the beginning of a new chapter of Greece’s longstanding cordial bilateral relations with Russia.

“It is a great pleasure for me to be in Moscow today. It is my first visit since being appointed as a foreign minister. We had a very interesting one-on-one discussion in a very friendly atmosphere,” Dendias stated.

”During our conversation, we were able to demonstrate the importance we both attach to promoting our cooperation. This effort to strengthen our relations has a twofold objective: To promote our bilateral ties on a wide range of issues based on existing conditions, on the one hand, and to foster closer cooperation and mutual understanding of international and regional issues,” noted Dendias.

The new Greek Foreign Minister made his remarks just as the next round of talks with the delegations of both nations got underway.

Dendias also thanked Lavrov for his reference to the long history of close bilateral relations — which included the Russian-educated first governor of the modern Greek state, Ioannis Kapodistrias — and for inviting him to visit Moscow.

On his part, Lavrov said that he believed the new Greek government “provides us with an opportunity to analyze and review our bilateral relations and to see how they will further develop.”

Addressing Dendias, the Russian Foreign Minister thanked him for accepting the invitation to visit Russia and noted: “Today we will have the opportunity to discuss bilateral relations, as well as a range of issues, such as our cooperation in Europe, the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and worldwide.”

The two ministers are expected to make statements to the press again after the meeting of the two delegations and the signing of a joint Greece-Russia 2020-2022 Consultations Program.

With information from AMNA

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