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Greece requests two planes, two copters from Russia to combat wildfires — Foreign Ministry

Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Miltiadis Varvitsiotis thanked Russia for direct and practical support during the hard times that Greece is facing

ATHENS, August 9./TASS/. Greece has requested Russia for two Il-76 planes and two Mi-8 helicopters to help in combatting wildfires, the Foreign Ministry reported after a telephone conversation of the co-chairs of the Greek-Russian Joint Interministerial Committee - Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis and Russian Transport Minister Vitaly Savelyev.

"Varvitsiotis thanked Savelyev for direct and practical support from Russia during the hard times that our country is facing, and specified the request of the Greek side to dispatch two Russian Il-76 planes and two Mi-8 helicopters, that will additionally help in putting out the fires," the report said.

Savelyev expressed sincere support for Greece, it added. The office of Varvitsiotis said that he had requested the Russian transport minister for additional help in the furtherance of the earlier telephone conversation between Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and his Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Varvitsiotis and Savelyev had a phone call as co-chairs of the Greek-Russian committee, the report said.

Greece has been in the middle of a heatwave for over ten days, and with temperatures climbing to 47 degrees Celsius at certain times. A Russian Be-200 amphibious plane has been in Greece since the end of June, putting out major fires on a daily basis. According to the Greek media, the Russian plane has proved high efficiency in combatting the fires.