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Meeting with New Democracy President Kyriakos Mitsotakis

May 28, 2016, Athens

The President of Russia met with Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the President of New Democracy, Greece’s largest opposition party.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Mitsotakis, thank you for agreeing to meet.

I have already mentioned that the members of your family who were involved in Greek politics always contributed significantly to the development of Russian-Greek relations.

I am delighted to note that relations between our nations are above politics both in Russia and in Greece, and do not depend on the current political situation.

You did a great deal to develop our interstate relations, when members of your party were heading the Government of Greece.

I must say that this visit was very fruitful and was held in a constructive manner. The Prime Minister and I agreed on many things. There was a very substantive conversation with the President of the Republic. Now, I am truly glad to meet with you in person.

We hope that members of your party in Parliament will support today’s initiatives and will do what they can to promote Russian-Greek ties.

Thank you.

President of New Democracy party Kyriakos Mitsotakis (re-translated): Mr President, thank you for finding the time in your busy schedule to meet with me. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance and I appreciate your kind words.

I am also happy to confirm that, indeed, when members of our party were in office from 2004 to 2009, they worked actively on developing Russian-Greek cooperation.

Our nations are bound by close ties based on shared traditions and religion. I believe it is important that we have an interparty agreement in place giving priority to relations with Russia. I am personally interested first and foremost in broadening economic relations.

New Democracy, as a centre-right liberal party, has always supported property denationalisation and privatisation. We are pleased that despite some delay, the current Government is taking steps in this direction.

As we understand, there is great interest in investments from Russia. Our country has certain advantages but it will not break out of the vicious circle it got into without significant foreign investment. This is why I would like to thank you for attention from you personally and your delegation to creating a favourable environment for attracting Russian investment to Greece.

I would like to stress that our economic relations are not limited to tourism. Of course, Greece welcomes tens of thousands of your compatriots every year, but economic relations should move beyond that.

As for geopolitical matters in our region, of course, Russia can and does play an important role, for instance in the settlement of the Cyprus issue.


May 28, 2016, Athens