Lavrov: Greece does not want to pursue sanctions against Russia, we trust our Greek friends

Sergey Lavrov Nikos Dendias Russia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov expressed the friendship between the Greek and Russian peoples and acknowledged that Athens is not enthusiastic about sanctions against Russia.

“I understand that Greece is a member of NATO, the EU,” said Lavrov when asked about recent reports by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on the transfer of NATO equipment to Ukraine via of the base of Alexandroupolis.

“But we also see that Greece does not want to follow the path of worsening anti-Russian sanctions, Greece in principle does not feel satisfied with what is happening now between the West and the Russian Federation,” continued the Russian Foreign Minister.

“We trust our Greek friends and that with their wisdom they will make the choice that meets their beliefs,” he added.

According to the Russian minister, during the recent “very good” telephone conversation with the Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, Alexandroupolis Port was discussed.

“Yes, we raised the issue of the new steps taken in the Greek-American relations for the strengthening of the port of Alexandroupolis for its purposes for the US Navy, and yes, of course, we read in what directions the Americans will use this port,” Lavrov noted.

READ MORE: Kremlin spox Peskov: Greek-Russian relations are 6/10, Turkish-Russian relations are 7/10.

In the Minsk agreements, on which the diplomatic settlement of the crisis in Eastern Ukraine is based, as Lavrov pointed out during the first major press conference of the year, “there is a direct ban on the stay of foreign troops on Ukrainian territory.”

There is no ban on sending weapons to Ukraine, however, he noted that “first of all, there are many foreign soldiers there. They are not thousands, as some sometimes mistakenly say, but there are a few hundred Americans, British, etc.”

Returning to Greece, Lavrov said: “We have very old relations, historical roots, with our Greek colleagues, the Greek people, with Greece as a country.

“We remember Kapodistrias, who became the first governor of modern Greece, after his tenure in Russia, in fact on the front of foreign diplomacy.

READ MORE: Greek and Russian Ambassadors in Switzerland honour Ioannis Kapodistrias.

“And very recently we had good conversations with Nikos Dendias.

“Of course, we discussed everything, both our bilateral relations and the prospects for the development of trade-economic, investment, cultural-humanitarian relations.

“These relations are indeed rich in all directions, including in the field of security.”

READ MORE: Greece and Russia strengthen relations with new agreements.