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Greek Aspropyrgos negotiating closer cooperation with Crimea’s Feodosia

February 02, 2015, 1:46 UTC+3 ATHENS

He said that the Greeks were evidently interested in developing relations with Russia

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ATHENS, February 1. /TASS/. Greece’s city of Aspropyrgos is negotiating closer cooperation with Russia’s city of Feodosia in Crimea. A delegation from Aspropyrgos plans to visit Crimea in the near future, Petr Kuprikov, the head of the Russian Centre of Science and Culture under the Russian embassy to Greece and head of the Greek office of Russia’s international cooperation agency, told TASS on Sunday.

"The mayor’s office of Aspropyrgos located some 20 kilometres northwest of Athens is currently negotiating cooperation options with Feodosia," he said. "I think they will prepare an agreement very soon. And it is only natural, since Crime is attractive for the Greeks from all points of view. There are many ethnic Greeks there."

He said that the Greeks were evidently interested in developing relations with Russia. "Of course, restrictions in bilateral trade stemming from the European Union’s sanctions against Russia and Russia’s response measures do a lot of harm," the Russian diplomat noted. "In a broader sense, they are very dissatisfied with that. The new government, naturally, will make certain adjustments, despite all the existing difficulties. Developing relations with Russia, Greece obviously wants to develop ties with Russia’s regions populated by Greeks. And now it is Crimea."

In 2014, the Russian Centre of Science and Culture signed a protocol of cooperation with the mayor’s office of Aspropyrgos. Under this document, the city’s television channel Attica will broadcast programmes about Russia. The channel broadcasts for the Attica province and its audience includes more than half of Greece’s population. "At the end of last year and at the very beginning of this year, we launched three regular progarmmes on this television channel," Kuprikov said. "One of these programmes - Bridges of Friendship: Russia-Greece - is dedicated to the Russian culture, two others - to the study of the Russian language."

The Russian diplomat cited the Attica director as saying that programmes about Russia enjoyed high popularity. "They say these programmes are very popular," Kuprikov said. "About a million Russian-speakers are living in Greece and the Greeks demonstrate high interest to Russia. Programmes are in Greek and target not only our compatriots but Greeks as well."

Apart from that, he said, the channel planned to show Russian movies with Greek surtitles. "We are looking at this option. But we need copyright to show Russian movies. The channel is ready to make titles itself and we will ask to grant it rental rights. This work is being done within the framework for the preparation for the Year of Russia in Greece planned for 2016. Our immediate plans include preparation of a programme dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the victory in WWII," the Russian diplomat said.

When asked about programmes dedicated for foreign policy matters, Kuprikov said, the Centre was not tasked to deal with such subjects. "But programmes about Russian culture might entail other programmes, including news," he said. "I think that sooner or later this tendency will lead to it."

The Russian diplomat noted that programmes about Russia would make it more attractive for the Greeks. "I have no doubt. The more so as we use potential of people of arts not only of Russian origin but of Greeks too," he added.

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