Moscow views Athens as a “responsible partner” and it would like to strengthen ties in areas where there are no “artificial constraints,” Russian ambassador to Greece, Andrey Maslov, has been quoted by Athens-Macedonia news agency (AMNA) as saying.
While acknowledging that Greece’s membership of the NATO alliance creates “certain artificial constraints on bilateral cooperation” between the two countries, Maslov reportedly told the RIA Novosti news agency that there exist “numerous areas of mutual interest for cooperation” such as trade and investment, energy, culture and tourism.
According to the AMNA report, Maslov said that contrary to other countries in the West, “the ground in Greece is not fertile for anti-Russian hysteria.”
“The country’s people safeguard the memory of the glorious pages of our shared history. They feel a spiritual affinity with the Russian people and they are not receptive to harmful myths,” he was quoted as saying.
Asked about the base of Alexandroupoli in northern Greece and its potential role in the ongoing Ukraine crisis, Maslov reportedly said that diplomatic contacts are underway between Athens and Moscow over the “written security guarantees” demanded by Russian officials.
According to the report, the Russian envoy also referred to the Charter for European Security adopted by OSCE member states at the 1999 Istanbul summit, which states that “every participating state [is] free to choose or change its security arrangements” and that “states will not strengthen their security at the expense of the security of other states.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will receive his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias in Moscow on February 18. The meeting is taking place at Lavrov’s request.