President Vladimir Putin: Dear Prime Minister, dear colleagues,
Let me once again welcome you to Moscow. Speaking with the Prime Minister just now in our meeting in narrow format, we noted with satisfaction that we have the highest political level of relations. We are certain that these kinds of relations are in the interests of Russia and Greece and can help strengthen peace and stability not only in the Balkans but throughout the entire continent. We also gave a lot of attention to developing our economic ties and in this area we have many potential opportunities for working together. I am very glad to have this chance to discuss these issues now in enlarged format and also to look with you at other questions and issues regarding our relations.
Prime Minister of Greece Konstantinos Karamanlis: Mr President, I am really very happy to have been able to come here to Moscow on this, my first visit to the Russian Federation. This visit has given me the chance to meet with the Russian people and with you personally. The Russian people are a people with whom we share ties of friendship going back many centuries.
Russian-Greek cooperation has shown a high level of stable development over recent years. We have defined the general outlines and directions for our cooperation and our work together. Our work together encompasses a broad range of areas and this gives us the chance to develop our cooperation in all different ways. There are many issues on which we share views that are very close or even identical. Russia and Greece are both countries that have a mission to help normalise and stabilise relations throughout the Balkan region. Our countries have the duty and need to abide by all international agreements in order to preserve peace in the region.
Mr President, at one point you called Greece a strategic partner for Russia and I think that this indeed corresponds to the level of relations between our two countries and is a stable parameter for our entire foreign policy.
The declaration on continued strengthening of our friendship and cooperation that we signed today and the action programme and joint statement on terrorism will make a positive contribution to further developing our political dialogue at all levels and will reinvigorate our cooperation which, as you noted and emphasised, must gain new substance and content, above all in our trade and economic relations.