GR US

In Moscow, Wary Tsipras Meets With Putin (Photos)

Αssociated Press

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras attends a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin wall in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

A meeting between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Russian President Vladimir Putin got underway at the Kremlin on Friday.

"I welcome you to Moscow with pleasure," the Russian President said, as he welcomed the Greek prime minister, while pointing out that "this year marks the 190th aniversary of diplomatic relations between our two countries."

"We will have the opportunity to talk about increasing our trade exchanges and, of course, to discuss international issues and how these are evolving in the wider region," Putin said.

On his part, Tsipras said he is happy to be in Moscow after three and a half years, noting that much had changed since that time. "Greece is in a better position financially, though international developments remain critical," he said and added: "The historical relations of cooperation between our two countries remain necessary in order to create the conditions for stability, peace and cooperation in the region."

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is visiting Russia on Friday in an effort to strengthen the traditionally good relations between the two countries.

Αssociated Press

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands during their meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. (Maxim Shemetov, Pool Photo via AP)

"Despite the difficulties that our relations have sometimes experienced, I maintain with President Vladimir Putin a sincere and substantial relationship," Tsipras said in an interview with Russia 24 ahead of his visit.

At 09:30, Tsipras laid a wreath at the Unknown Soldier's Monument in the Alexander Garden. Then he made his way to the prime minister's country house for a meeting with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at 10:30.

At 12:00, the Greek Prime Minister met Russian President Vladimir Putin, in the Kremlin, followed by a working lunch and the signing of bilateral agreements. After the meeting, Alexis Tsipras and Vladimir Putin will hold a joint press conference.

Tsipras' meeting with the Russian President will also focus on the Cyprus issue and the importance of Russia's role in favour of a just and viable solution, developments in the energy sector, the role of Greece, EU-Russia relations and their role in the region and global security, the prospects for Syria and Libya, the respect for international law and the elimination of tension in the Black Sea, where tens of thousands of people of Greek descent live.

Αssociated Press

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras attends a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin wall in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Αssociated Press

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras attends a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin wall in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Αssociated Press

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras attends a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin wall in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Αssociated Press

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras attends a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin wall in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Αssociated Press

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras attends a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin wall in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Αssociated Press

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras attends a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin wall in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Αssociated Press

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, center right, attends a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin wall in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Αssociated Press

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, center right, attends a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin wall in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Αssociated Press

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, second right, attends a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin wall in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Αssociated Press

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, second right, attends a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin wall in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Αssociated Press

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras smiles as he arrives to attend a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin wall in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Αssociated Press

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras smiles as he arrives to attend a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin wall in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Αssociated Press

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands as they pose for a photo during their meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Αssociated Press

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands as they pose for a photo during their meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Αssociated Press

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, left, and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev pose for a photo during their meeting in the Gorky residence outside Moscow, Russia, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. (Yekaterina Shtukina, Sputnik, Government Pool Photo via AP)

Αssociated Press

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, left, and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev pose for a photo during their meeting in the Gorky residence outside Moscow, Russia, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. (Yekaterina Shtukina, Sputnik, Government Pool Photo via AP)

Αssociated Press

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, left, and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev greet each other prior to their talks in the Gorky residence outside Moscow, Russia, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. (Yekaterina Shtukina, Sputnik, Government Pool Photo via AP)