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16 december, 2015

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Prospects of Russo-Greek cooperation

Opportunities for partnership in tourism, agriculture and other fields were discussed in the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation

Prospects of Russo-Greek cooperation

Foundations of strategic partnership between Russia and Greece were discussed in the RF Civic Chamber on December 16. The event was initiated by the CCRF Commission on Development of Public Diplomacy and Support of Russian Compatriots Abroad in cooperation with the Greek Public Organization "Union of Russian-Greek Friendship."

Chairwoman of the CCRF Commission Elena Sutormina pointed out that 2016 would be particularly significant for the Russian-Greek relations, since it was declared the Year of Russia in Greece and Greece to Russia, in accordance with the decree of the President of the Russian Federation.

"Attitude of Russians to the people of Greece has always been friendly, and now, when we are in the stage of hybrid wars, it is especially important to maintain such a good relations and promote active cooperation in various fields, including tourism industry," she said, adding that Russian tourists always say they enjoy Greece.

Konstantinos Exakoustos, Deputy Head of the Federal District of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace responsible for development, also talked about big prospects in the field of tourism, saying that, as is well-known, Greece is undergoing difficult economic situation, so an inflow of Russian tourists would give a huge break for his country.

"We have hotels of any class and any price. We can offer a lot in the tourism industry – from comfortable beaches to environmentally friendly products of the highest quality," he went on.

Konstantinos Exakoustos also talked about prospects of religious tourism promotion. "Greece and Russia have not only common traditions and some similarities in mentality, but they also share Orthodox faith."

After that, participants of the meeting dwelled on economic sanctions imposed by the European Union against Russia. For instance, member of the State Duma Committee on Agrarian Issues Pavel Fedyayev noted that Greece virtually is the only country that has been against imposition of the sanctions. However, Elena Sutormina stressed that the Greek government should be tougher in defending its position for the benefit of the Greek people that gains no profit from souring relations with Russia.

Paul Fedyaev added that Russia has been under tough pressure precisely because it defends its own position and interests, but, unfortunately, not every country can afford the same.

He highlighted that despite the sanctions, it is important to build up Russian-Greek cooperation in the field of agriculture, and offered to organize a meeting of agriculture ministers of Russia and Greece.

Participants of the event also mentioned possible reduction of a consular charge for a Greek visa, and came to a conclusion that it is needed to take additional measures in regard with cultural and socio-economic cooperation between Russia and Greece.

Elena Sutormina assured that the RF Civic Chamber will hold meetings on those themes in 2016, and the Commission on Development of Public Diplomacy and Support of Russian Compatriots Abroad will further actively cooperate with the Union of Russian-Greek Friendship.

RF Civic Chamber Media–Office

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