President Vladimir Putin: Dear Mr Prime Minister,
Allow me to wish you a warm welcome to Moscow. We see Greece as one of our closest partners in Europe and our relations are developing well. We have noted some positive steps forward since your government has been in power. At least, we now see signs of progress being made on some issues that we had been unable to settle and agree upon for a long time. We are very glad that you have made this visit.
We hope that during our work together today we will not only discuss the present state of relations between our two countries but will also map out some directions for future development.
Prime Minister of Greece Konstantinos Karamanlis: Thank you very much, Mr President. I am tremendously happy to have been able to make this visit to the Russian Federation and I thank you for your kind words. I think it is well known that our countries, our peoples, our bound by very strong ties of friendship and cooperation. These ties date back many centuries and we cooperate in many different areas, all the more so given the way events have developed in recent years.
As you rightly noted, we have very good relations. We share common positions or have a close consensus on many issues and I think that this enables us to be optimistic about making this the foundation upon which to continue building up our cooperation for the benefit of both our countries. I think that we have a vast number of opportunities for broadening and intensifying our cooperation.