Dendias to Lavrov: Turkey is a travel agency for jihadists

greece russia Nikos Dendias Sergey Sergei Lavrov

The Greek Foreign Minister in his meeting today in Athens with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov said that Turkey has become a travel agency for jihadists.

The two Foreign Ministers made joint statements after Lavrov's first visit to Greece in three years who is expected to meet at 17:00 with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Nikos Dendias Sergey Sergei Lavrov Greece russia
Greek FM Nikos Dendias meeting his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Athens - October 26, 2020.

"Relations between our countries have lasted for centuries. We stressed the importance of strengthening bilateral political contacts. Russia is and will remain an integral part of European architectural security," said Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias. "In the field of energy, we look forward to continuing cooperation, examining bilateral trade and the possibility of increasing investment. We have a lot to gain by working together."

"Unfortunately, in all regional developments, the common denominator is the destabilizing factor of Turkey. I have expressed my concern about the role of Turkey, which has become a travel agency for jihadists," said the Greek Foreign Minister, who also raised the issue of Turkish military equipment with his Russian counterpart.

For his part, Lavrov initially focused on the historical relations between the two countries and stressed that bilateral cooperation continues, while noting that, at the beginning of the pandemic, the two countries helped each other.

greece russia Nikos Dendias Sergey Sergei Lavrov
Greek FM Nikos Dendias meeting his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Athens - October 26, 2020.

Among other things, referring to the issue of Ankara's challenges in the Eastern Aegean region, he advocated a peaceful settlement through dialogue.

"There are many problems in the Eastern Mediterranean. We believe that they must be resolved through international law," underlined Lavrov.

For his part, Dendias said that there is suitable ground for the development of Greek-Russian relations, as Lavrov's visit signals their "warming up".

Earlier, the Greek Foreign Ministry spoke about "historical ties, strengthening relations and cooperation" between Greece and Russia in a post on Twitter.

Lavrov visit marks opportunities to start a new page in bilateral relations, especially after the Russian Foreign Minister declared that it is the sovereign right of each state to determine the extent of territorial waters to 12 miles.

In particular, regarding the delimitation of the continental shelf and the Exclusive Economic Zones between Greece and Turkey, Lavrov maintains that Russia's position, which signed the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, is based on its rules.

International law contained in this treaty and notes that Article 3 of the Convention provides that each state has the sovereign right to determine the extent of its territorial waters up to 12 nautical miles.

In the same interview, the Russian Foreign Minister expressed serious concern about Turkey's decision on partially opening Varoshia and made it clear that it contradicts a series of UN Security Council resolutions.