Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias is expected to be at the heart of Russia’s Pontian Hellenism on May 24 and 25 as he will pay an official visit to Sochi, Anapa, and Gelendzhik.
These are three cities in southern Russia are where thousands of Greeks live.
As everything shows, Athens continues the steps for the resurgence of Greek-Russian relations that began in 2019 after Dendias’ first visit to Moscow and continued in 2020 with the visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Athens.
In this context, on Monday morning Dendias is expected to land in Sochi, while at midday he is expected to meet with his Russian counterpart.
However, the visit to the city where the 2014 Winter Olympics were hosted with great success and the upcoming meeting of the two ministers at the specific location is not accidental.
According to Sputnik Hellas, Greece and Russia have agreed to open a Greek consulate in Sochi.
What has not been clarified is whether the inauguration will take place during this visit or at some future time.
After the one-on-one meeting between Dendias and Lavrov, extended talks between the Greek and Russian delegations will follow and the two ministers will make joint statements.
A key topic of discussion, according to diplomatic sources, will be the issue of opening Russian flights to Greece, as our country needs tourism from Russia.
Although Greece has opened its borders to Russian tourists, a decision is pending on the part of the Russian Federation regarding the opening of flights.
On the same day, Dendias will arrive by plane in Anapa, at the historic airport which, by order of Russian President Vladimir Putin from 2019, is named after the Greek hero Vladimir Kokkinakis.
The Greek delegation will lay flowers at the monument.
On Tuesday, the Greek Foreign Minister will be in Gelendzhik where he will meet with presidents of expatriate communities and businessmen.
On the same day he will return to Anapa for a meeting with expatriates and businessmen.
Among them are Valerios Aslanidis, owner of a traditional winery, and the first Greek in Russia to be vaccinated with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.
It is worth noting that the Foreign Ministry’s program, which is being finalised, includes a tour of Buran, the only space shuttle completed by the Soviet Buran Program.
It also includes meetings with Russian school principals teaching the Greek language and a tour of the Greek cultural center of Gelendzhik.