Russian President Vladimir Putin and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras agree that it is necessary to reduce tensions between Russia and the European Union (EU), Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov told reporters on Thursday ahead of Putin’s official visit to Greece.
“Both sides hope that ties in all main spheres will be activated with the help of upcoming talks and contacts. I will note that both the president and prime minister Tsipras agree that tensions in relations between Russia and the European Union should be reduced,” Ushakov said.
The presidential aide reminded that Greece and Italy, together with some European countries, support restoration of political dialogue between Moscow and Brussels.
Ushakov noted that Greece is against Western sanctions imposed on Russia but has to adhere to EU’s official position.
Putin’s visit to Greece
Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 27 in Athens will hold talks with the Greek leadership, visit a museum of the Byzantine and Christian art and meet with the leader of an oppositional party, Ushakov said.
Upon arrival in Athens on Friday Putin will meet with President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and then hold narrow and expanded format talks with Prime Minister Aleksis Tsipras.
The talks will end with the signing of a number of joint documents, including an inter-governmental declaration on partnership and a statement for the press.
Ushakov said the talks would focus on measures to lend more dynamics to the activities of the mixed inter-governmental commission for cooperation. Russia’s Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov is the commission’s Russian co-chair.
“The ninth session of the commission was held in Sochi in November 2015. This time the date of another, ninth session will be coordinated,” Ushakov said.
Ushakov said Putin and Tsipras would jointly open an “exhibition of one masterpiece” – display of Andrey Rublev’s icon Ascension of Jesus, from the collection of the State Tretyakov Gallery at the Museum of Byzantine and Christian Art.
“After than our president will have an informal contact with the leader of the oppositional New Democracy party,” Ushakov said.