Prime Minister of Greece Antonis Samaras (retranslated): Mr President, we are meeting as friends: the Greek people and the Russian people are united by traditional historic and religious ties of friendship, so our relations are always friendly.
There is no stagnation in the relations between Russia and Europe; these relations are developing. You had a meeting with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy.
As Prime Minister of Greece, I would like to say that over the last six years, Greece has been undergoing a terrible economic crisis with severe consequences, and naturally, low prices on energy resources are among the most important parameters for overcoming this crisis.
Russia’s interest in privatisation projects within our country is serious and gives us hope. I am referring to railway projects and port infrastructure, particularly in Thessaloniki. Tourism is one of the sectors where we have seen impressive results. As for railway infrastructure, it is important to understand that it guarantees market entry for Greek goods, including agricultural products.
I wish you success in organising the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. Mr Papoulias, our President, will represent Greece at the opening ceremony.
Thank you again for the opportunity to meet today.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, it is a great pleasure for me to meet with you as well. We had the opportunity to meet earlier, and we have spoken over the telephone.
I share your position of the historic nature and the very solid foundation of our relations.
Naturally, we are aware of the difficulties that Greece is facing, but I will note that our trade grew by 16 percent last year. Naturally, we are also impressed with the results in the tourism sector: 1.2 million Russians visited Greece in 2013. We have some investment projects as well.
I am happy to talk with you about any topic that you find important or interesting, and I also want to thank you for today’s conversation.