Russian Amb. to Athens: Greece a Traditional and Reliable Partner of Russia

The National Herald

Moscow’s Ambassador to Greece Andrey Maslov. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Christos Bonis)

ATHENS - Greece is a traditional and reliable partner of Russia in Europe, and the two countries can continue building their relations "even under the anti-Russian situation of sanctions" by the EU, Russian Ambassador to Greece Andrey Maslov said on Wednesday during a traditional annual press briefing.

Maslov spoke of the contacts between the two countries recently, including the November visit of Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias to Russia, and the invitation to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who will visit Greece in 2020.

The ambassador also referred to energy and tourism as the two basic sectors of collaboration, making particular mention of Elounda Hills on Crete - a Russian investment of 408.5 million euros, the largest foreign strategic investment in Greece at this point, he said - and Resort Skorpios, known as the home of the late Aristotle Onassis in Greece, an investment worth 165 million euros.

Commenting on the recent Turkey-Libya memorandum of understanding on maritime zones, the ambassador said "I would not like to enter into detailed commentary on the issue, which belongs to specialists to analyse, but the main issue is to observe the principles of international law, including the Lausanne Treaty of 1923 and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982."

Among other things, he also mentioned that he is confident there will be no armed conflict between Greece and Turkey. "It is impossible for this to happen within NATO, as the United States would never allow an armed conflict," he said of the organization.

In relation to relations between Russia and the West, he said that "we see there are logical countries, including Greece, that understand the impasse of today's situation." He also expressed Russia's appreciation for "the established stance of the Greeks, that the architecture of security in Europe must include Russia as well." Russia is interested in a multi-aspect collaboration with the EU, as long as there is interest on the EU's side, he said.