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Hellenic-Russian Society conference on Russia-Greece-Cyprus

Δημοσίευση 14 Δεκεμβρίου 2010, 10:19 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
Hellenic-Russian Society conference  on Russia-Greece-Cyprus
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The future prospects in relations shared by Russia, Greece and Cyprus were underlined in the Hellenic-Russian Society Conference on “Russia-Greece-Cyprus: Political Economic and Cultural Partnerships, Present and Future” held on Monday under the auspices of the Greek foreign ministry.

The future prospects in relations shared by Russia, Greece and Cyprus were underlined in the Hellenic-Russian Society Conference on “Russia-Greece-Cyprus: Political Economic and Cultural Partnerships, Present and Future” held on Monday under the auspices of the Greek foreign ministry.

The importance of the materialization of the South Stream pipeline and the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline in the current difficult conjuncture was highlighted in a message by Republic President Karolos Papoulias read in the opening of the conference.

President Papoulias’ message referred to the close relations shared by the two peoples reflected in their centuries-old ties.

“Bilateral relations are founded on true friendship and mutual trust,” he said, underlining “the rich Greek and Russian cultural heritage, the common struggles undertaken and the steadfast support of the Russian people to the efforts for a functional and viable solution to the Cyprus problem.”

Speaking in the conference, government vice-president Theodoros Pangalos stated that Greece’s relations with Russia are of major and strategic importance and referred to tourism, stressing that in a period of crisis, tourist arrivals from Russia increased 50 pct, predicting a further increase in the coming year.

He criticized Bulgaria as regards the issue of the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline, stressing that it is a project of major importance for the Greek government.

Referring to the stance adopted by the Bulgarian government, he said that implementing the project appears to be difficult. He maintained that pressures are being exerted by oil companies trying to block the construction of the oil pipeline adding, however, that the dead end is not insurmountable. “The Bulgarian leadership should realize that it is against the interest of the Bulgarian people to adopt a policy that isolates the country,” he stressed.

On behalf of main opposition New Democracy (ND) party, the conference was addressed by Hellenic-Russian Society 2nd vice-president MP Simos Kedikoglou, who stressed that the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline is an environmentally-friendly project contributing to a reduction in oil-tanker traffic in the Dardanelles Strait, underlining that this argument should be taken under serious consideration.

The conference was addressed representatives of the opposition Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.O.S) and Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) parties, the ambassadors of Russia and Cyprus to Athens, a Russian Duma representative and other Russian officials.

According to Culture and Tourism Minister George Nikitiadis, meanwhile, Greece could well become the top European destinations for Russian tourists in the next two years, following Greek initiatives to hasten the issue of visas to visiting Russians and policies to attract Russian tourists to Greece.