Lavrov visit to probe trade, investment, energy, ministry says

Lavrov visit to probe trade, investment, energy, ministry says

A day before Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is due to hold talks with government officials in Athens, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement, saying that trade, investment and energy would top the agenda and that Athens and Moscow see eye-to-eye on many issues.

"The talks will examine issues of cooperation in trade, investment and energy," the ministry said on Monday. "On the agenda are pressing international problems and the current state of Russia's relations with the European Union," it said, adding that, "the positions of Russia and Greece on many issues are similar."

Lavrov, whose visit comes five months after that of President Vladimir Putin, will hold talks with his Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and President Prokopis Pavlopoulos.

Diplomatic sources say Greece is keen to maintain lines of communication with Moscow as the government views its recent isolation as counterproductive.

Both Lavrov and Kotzias will attend the fourth Greek-Russian Social Forum at Zappeion and will also sign a plan regarding consultations between the Russian and Greek foreign ministries for 2017-19 .

Bilateral ties, the Cyprus peace talks, and developments in the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East are expected to be high on the agenda of talks. 

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