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Russia, Greece foreign ministers to discuss finance, energy cooperation, Ukraine crisis

February 11, 2015, 10:11 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The meeting is aimed to give impetus to bilateral ties in all spheres, including those strategic directions outlined in a telephone conversation between Russian President and Greek PM
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© EPA/DANIEL KARMANN

MOSCOW, February 11. /TASS/. The foreign ministers of Russia and Greece, Sergey Lavrov and Nikos Kotzias, will meet in Moscow on Wednesday to discuss cooperation between the two countries in finance, energy, transport and education spheres alongside developments in Ukraine.

This will be Kotzias’s first visit to the Russian capital after Greece’s new government was formed in late January. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's new cabinet includes many supporters of closer relations with Russia, opposing the European Union’s sanctions policy over Ukraine.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said the meeting between Lavrov and Kotzias is aimed "to give impetus to bilateral ties in all spheres, including those strategic directions outlined in a telephone conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras."

Energy cooperation between the two countries is expected to be high on the agenda of the meeting, the ministry said, adding that Greece was interested in Russia’s new gas pipeline project called "Turkish Stream" and plans for a gas hub at the Turkish-Greek border.

"Besides energy, the ministers will focus their attention on issues of cooperation in transport, education and finance spheres," the Russian ministry said.

Lavrov and Kotzias will discuss preparations for next year’s Russia-Greece cross-years and celebrations marking 1,000 years of the Russian monastic presence on Mount Athos, in north Greece, the ministry said.

The agenda for the talks also includes the crisis in Ukraine. "Greece wants to hear directly from Russia its assessments of prospects for Ukraine settlement," it said.

The two foreign ministers are also expected to discuss counter-terrorism efforts, particularly the fight against the militant group Islamic State, alongside prospects for a peace settlement in Cyprus, the ministry added, noting that Russia as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council actively participated in efforts to find a long-term solution to the Cyprus problem.

The Russian foreign ministry also noted the countries’ joint efforts to fight fascism during World War Two, adding that this year’s celebrations marking 70 years since victory over Nazi Germany "will give new impetus to intensify these efforts."

Greek Premier Tsipras was reported as due to pay a visit to Moscow to attend May ceremonies.

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