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Greece PM says his Moscow visit will lay new basis for Russian-Greek ties

March 31, 2015, 10:44 UTC+3 ATHENS

The prime minister noted that over the past years the relations with Russia have been frozen

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ATHENS, March 31. /TASS/. The visit to Moscow due on April 8 is expected to lay the new foundation for the Russian-Greek relations, Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in an exclusive interview with TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman on Tuesday.

"This is a possibility for their true reset and for giving a new impetus to the Russian-Greek relations which have very deep roots in history and were hammered out in a joint struggle of our nations," Tsipras said.

The prime minister noted that over the past years the relations with Russia have been frozen: "I do not know if this is like the Siberian winter, but this was winter and now we are having spring and should support this spring for the real development of our relations," he said.

"We are in a geopolitical environment of special tensions and have common challenges, and we need to look at how we treat them," the prime minister said.

"We should see how our nations and countries can really cooperate in many spheres - economy, energy, trade, agriculture, and find out where we can help each other and, first of all, look into how our cooperation can be constructive as I indeed believe that Greece, as a member of the EU, can be a link and a bridge between the West and Russia," he said.

The prime minister suggested that the possibilities for strengthening relations between Greece and Russia could be also related to tourism and also various cultural events.

"In Russia, besides the very important meetings that I will have with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, I will also have a chance to make a speech in one of the central universities of Moscow," he said.

"From this point of view, I believe that the possibility of an exchange and cooperation at the educational level between the Greek and Russian universities is also a very important aspect of enhancing our mutual ties," Tsipras said.

According to the prime minister, 2016 is an important possibility for developing relations as this will be the cross-year of Russia and Greece.

"In 2015 we together mark the 70th anniversary of the Great anti-fascist victory and the victory of nations over Nazism," Tsipras said. "This anniversary has great importance both for the people of Russia and Greece. Our nations hammered out brotherly relations as they conducted a joint fight in the critically important historical moments," he said.

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