For several years there has been very little communication between Athens and Moscow, however this has certainly changed under the new government headed by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
The frequent communication between Greek Foreign Ministers Nikos Dendias and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov is a sign that there is some interesting and perhaps urgent content, something much more important than what is stated in the official announcements, Ethnos reported.
Last night, the Russian Foreign Minister announced very formally that he discussed with Dendias “current issues of bilateral cooperation.
Greek diplomacy now seems to be “struggling” to improve the climate in “Greek-Russian ” relations and to gain some of the lost time after a number of differences including the division in the Orthodox world after Ukraine’s autocephaly and Athens constant approval for EU sanctions against Russia.
The following issues are definitely on the “Greek-Russian table” of consultations.
Athens wants Lavrov to visit to fully restore relations after the previous government expelled Russian diplomats in 2018.
Moscow has so far been in no hurry to confirm, estimating that it will probably not be done in person, but online in early November at the Summit of the Foreign Ministers of the Council of Europe, which this year is chaired by Greece. The Greek side wanted this visit since the summer, but the Russian side asked for some practical content and for some agreements to be signed.
Russia is becoming a strategic player in Libya, a country critical for Greece’s interests, and has overturned the ambitions of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. So maybe Athens and Moscow will finally find a way to better coordinate their affairs in Libya.
Moscow issued a “yellow card” in Greece for tourism after Athens “opened” the country for Russian tourists between September 7-21 who have a negative test. However this is only for 500 Russian tourists per week.
As part of the armaments program, it is required and seems to be promoting the modernisation and supply of the few Russian technological weapons systems, owned by the Greek Armed Forces.
Western Russiaphobia climate is now part of US foreign policy and includes unrealistic statements by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who recently reiterated that Cyprus stop Russian warships from docking in its ports.
This prompted a response from Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman who said “We believe that the United States should not be involved in our bilateral relations with Cyprus.”