Tourism Minister Costas Markopoulos (left) met with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirrill in Moscow late on Thursday where they agreed to set up joint committee to promote tourism activities focusing on religious sites in both countries. The Greek side of the committee will be represented by the Church of Greece. The minister also met with senior Russian government officials and representatives from the tourism sector. A growing number of Russians have been visiting Greece in recent years, with many of them favoring destinations in northern parts of Greece, such as Halkidiki. Of the 16 million people that visit Greece every year, about 260,000 are Russians, according to government data.