President Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, colleagues,
Allow me once again to welcome you to Moscow. All of our meetings, including today’s, have taken place in a spirit of understanding, openness, and commitment to constructive resolution of all bilateral issues.
I see that our bilateral relations have made significant progress in practically all areas. It is enough to say that trade between our countries has been growing steadily at an annual rate of 40 percent over these last years.
We are very pleased to receive such an important delegation from a country with which we share ties of friendship, understanding and historic links. I am sure, Mr Prime Minister, that your visit to Moscow will mark an important stage that will give new impetus to the development of our relations.
Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis: Mr President,
It gives me special pleasure to be here in Moscow once again and I would like to thank you for the warmth and exceptional hospitality you have shown me. I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate you and the United Russia party on the victory in the recent parliamentary election.
As you rightly noted, our relations have been developing vigorously in all different areas and have transformed into a close strategic partnership. Our relations are based on common historic and cultural values that have bound our countries together for centuries and that continue to contribute to the strong ties we have today.
I would like to note that 2008 is a jubilee year for us: we will be celebrating the 180th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries. I want to say that over this long period in history Russia and Greece have stood together hand in hand and Russia has always come to the active support of Greece at all vital moments regarding our country’s life and interests.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for the help your country provided in putting out the disastrous and extensive fires that we faced last summer. This kind of involvement in our country’s life is yet further proof of the warm feelings you have towards our country.