PM Tsipras: ‘We can make a new start in Greek-Russian relations’

Greece is a sovereign country which practices independent and multidimensional foreign policy, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said during a joint press conference with Russia President Vladimir Putin on Monday, following their meeting, answering remarks made by European officials on his official trip.

Tsipras noted that the country is leveraging its geopolitical role for the benefit of Greek citizens according to commitments resulting from the participation in international organisations.

“We can make new start in Greek-Russian relations” which were in recess the past few years, the Greek premier said, adding that he discussed building a gas pipeline which will pass through Greece, by crossing the Turkish borders.

On his side, the Russian President noted that his country is ready to participate in privatisations in Greece.

Russian president Vladimir Putin said that Russia cannot exempt Greek agricultural products from the embargo it has imposed on such products from the EU and other countries.

“We understand that…half of Greek exports to Russia involve farm products, but we cannot make an exemption for those,” Putin said in response to a question.

Putin did promise Russian investment in Greece if conditions were fair, hinting at European Union attempts to block Russia from taking part in Greek privatizations.

Earlier, Tsipras had said that one of the major goals of his visit to Russia was to do something towards a more balanced trade relationship, which currently is heavily in Russia’s favor.