President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Dear Mr Prime Minister, I am very glad to see you again. First of all I would like to say that we are consistently implementing all of our agreements and that almost all aspects of Russian-Greek relations are developing. This includes political and economic relations as well as major infrastructure projects.
All three countries have ratified our agreements on the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline. And now we need to embark on the next stage of the pipeline project. We hope that today we will benefit from the opportunity to speak about these issues as well as other promising fields in which we cooperate.
Prime Minister of Greece Konstantinos Karamanlis: Dear Mr President, I am particularly pleased to see you again. Such meetings bear witness to the closeness and quality of our relations. Your visit to Athens, when we signed the Burgas-Alexandroupolis agreement with our Bulgarian colleague, remains fresh in our memory. And today's meeting is a good opportunity to discuss our cooperation in all areas, both with respect to ongoing and global issues.
Vladimir Putin: Dear Mr Prime Minister, I would like to say how pleased I am to see that our relations with Greece are developing very positively. I am referring to both bilateral relations as well as major infrastructure projects, projects that are of interest to our partners in Europe.
We are moving rapidly to implement the Burgas-Alexandroupolis project. You know that a few days ago we agreed with our Italian partners on constructing a new gas pipeline system from Russia to Bulgaria. And yesterday the President of Bulgaria reiterated his interest in implementing the project. I am very pleased that you demonstrated your interest in this project today and manifested your desire to participate in the project. Of course, the participation of Greece — one of our time-tested, long-standing partners — in this work will give it additional clout. I am confident that the project’s implementation will benefit not only its direct participants but our other partners as well.
Konstantinos Karamanlis: We reaffirmed the excellent relations that exist between our countries in recent years. We found that what we are talking about is, for example, visible in the Burgas-Alexandroupolis project.
At today's meeting we paid special attention to a new project, the project of delivering Russian natural gas to Europe via Greece. This represents a major project which will contribute to both energy security and the diversification of supplies and primary commodities to Europe. Greece is studying the proposal together with Russia, Bulgaria and Italy and is ready to embark on implementing the project.
In addition to the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline’s objective economic benefits for Greece, the implementation of this project along with infrastructural energy projects with Turkey and an underwater project with Italy will allow Greece to truly become an important hub for distributing international energy resources.