As a member of the EU, Greece, could act “as a link and a bridge” between Russia and the West. This is Alexis Tsipras’ and the Coalition government’s positioning on Greece’s relationships with “mama” Russia, as said by the Prime Minister, a few days before his visit to Kremlin, invited officialy by President Putin .
A “road to nowhere”
“We disagree with sanctions,” the Greek Prime Minister said, on April 1, underlining that “these penalties, enforced by Europe to Russia over the Ukraine crisis, have costed much to Greece’s vulnerable economy”.
Alexis Tsipras, indeed, didn’t neglect to emphasize, talking from the Greek Parliament hall one week before his Moscow visit, that “the new European security architecture must include Russia,” reiterating that Greek support for EU trade restrictions could not be assumed.
“This is a possibility for … giving a new impetus to the Russian-Greek relations which have very deep roots in history,” he told the Russian state news agency Tass.
“We should see how our nations and countries can really cooperate in many spheres – the economy, energy, trade, agriculture – and find out where we can help each other.”
Tourism to Greece, is also, apropos, another issue as the government’s spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis stated on Sunday, primarily underlining, though, that
“A major blow that our country accepted, has to do with the embargo of our agricultural products’s exports to Russia. There are such issues that can and should be discussed, can be resolved, and do also promise to swift some ‘breaths’ to the Greek economy, even during this Prime Minister’s trip “he said.
Greece and Russia have old historical ties,indeed.
In the early 19th century tsar Alexander I helped Greece gain independence from the Ottoman empire. Orthodox Christianity brings a sense of belonging to the same culture. Religious affiliation may not be the most important thing for Tsipras, whose Syriza far-left movement is rooted in stark atheism. But it certainly appeals to his coalition partner, Independent Greeks party, which is comfortable with Putin’s ideology of traditionalist nationalism and social conservatism, has recently noted a Guardian article
For more on Greece’s New Day on Realtionships with Russia go to our previous articles