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MOSCOW, May 26. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin hopes that Russia and Greece "will continue to build up a multifaceted dialogue and implement joint plans together," the Russian leader wrote in an article published in the Greek Kathimerini daily ahead of a visit to Athens.
"I am confident that friendly Russian-Greek relations are our common heritage, a solid foundation for long-term, future-oriented partnership", Putin wrote. According to him, Moscow was "values centuries-old traditions of friendship that have developed between our peoples."
According to the Russian leader, "The common civilizational values, Orthodox culture, sincere sympathy create a solid foundation for cooperation." He cited as an example the case of "close intertwining of human destinies - the life of Ioannis Kapodistrias, who in the 19th century was the Russian minister of foreign affairs, and then - the Greek head of state."
The president said that the celebration of the 1000th anniversary of Russian monks’ presence on the holy Mount Athos is a landmark event of this year. "During very different historical epochs, the spiritual strength, faith, patriotism helped our peoples to overcome hardships, preserve their identity," Putin said.
According to him, Greece "is annually visited by hundreds of thousands of Russian tourists," who "vacation on the beautiful sea beaches, get acquainted with the rich heritage of ancient Greece, its legendary architectural monuments." According to the Russian president, "tourism makes a significant contribution to the economic development of Greece, as well as to the expansion of the direct human contacts, the strengthening of trust and friendship between our citizens".
"I know that the key role of Russia in gaining independence by your state is well remembered in Greece. Russia’s support for the national liberation struggle of the Greeks largely determined the vector of further development of bilateral relations," Putin wrote.
According to him, "Today, Greece is Russia’s important partner in Europe." The President recalled Moscow’s dynamic political dialogue with Athens, the meetings with Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. The Russian leader believes that the Russian-Greek bilateral years will allow the sides "to take a closer look at the history, traditions and customs of each other".