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Greece and Russia to continue strategic partnership in energy

February 13, 2014, 4:42 UTC+3 ATHENS
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ATHENS, February 13, 4:01 /ITAR-TASS/. Greece and Russia will continue the strategic partnership in the energy sector, Greece’s Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change Yannis Maniatis said on Wednesday evening during a reception organised by the Greece-Russia Chamber of Commerce.

“We are and will continue to be strategic partners in the sphere of energy,” Maniatis said adding several weeks earlier he as a minister of Greece chairing the EU participated in the EU-Russia meeting on cooperation in energy. “Afterwards, I had a meeting with Russia’s Minister of Energy Alexander Novak, where, among other issues, we discussed prices for the Russian natural gas for Greece.” “We also discussed Greece’s ongoing interest to construction of the Burgas-Alexandropulis oil pipeline, to South Stream, which is to the topics, which may connect out two countries both in the economic and in the political aspects,” he said expressing hope for new opportunities to expand the Greek-Russian relations during the current year.

The minister said “the Olympic Flame from Greece is burning in Sochi now.” “This symbol may be used positively for further improvement of relations between our countries.” Over one million tourists visited Greece in 2013, he continued, and “it gives to this country, suffering from the crisis, a positive signal.” “As in overcoming this crisis, we have been forming a new development model, which should be based on new production, not on borrowed funds, I believe it very important to highlight the new spheres of the business cooperation between Greece and Russia,” he said.

Greece’s Minister of Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Kostis Hatzidakis, who attended the reception, too, said Russia is a very big country, with which Greece has been having friendly relations, going back in history, and close religious ties. “Our future is in close economic cooperation, mutual development of investments, trade, and improvement of the economic growth,” he said. “The Greek government has been undertaking efforts in this direction.”

The minister stressed though Greece had been suffering a major crisis, “the situation now becomes exclusively attractive for investors, as the country is finalising the recession cycle and approaches the economic growth stage.”

“Besides, Greece has finalised a series of reforms, which offer more opportunities for entrepreneurship,” he said. The Greek government had been paying special attention to businesses, focusing on development of the Greek-Russian cooperation, he added.

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