Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov praised Greece from space as “paradise on earth” during a recorded video message on Thursday on board the International Space Station (ISS) where he serves as mission commander.
Shkaplerov also had Greece’s national tourism logo with him in space and spoke of the “unforgettable days” that Russian cosmonauts spend in Greece during their rehabilitation after space missions.
The Russian cosmonaut also praised Greece-Russia Year of Tourism 2017-2018, an initiative signed by Greece’s Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura with Russia’s Deputy Culture Minister Alla Manilova.
Shkaplerov referred to Fyodor Yurchikhin, a Russian cosmonaut of Greek descent, and the strong bonds with Greece developed by Russian cosmonauts, who go there for rehabilitation due to the ideal climate and conditions.
“This is why I took the logo of the National Tourism Organisation (EOT) into space with me and the songs of the Greek ‘Orpheus’ Giorgos Dalaras,” he said, displaying the small blue logo pin on camera.
He also noted the recent development of tourism resorts in southern Russia and a first-ever Festival of Ancient Heritage being held in Novorossiysk and other cities with ties to ancient Greece in antiquity, ending the recording with the message “Hurrah for the friendship of Russia and Greece!”