MOSCOW, Russia – Moscow believes that the upcoming talks between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the Russian leadership will help bring the bilateral dialogue back on track, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
“We assume that [Tsipras’] talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will bring bilateral dialogue back on track,” Lavrov said in an interview with the Greek Efimerida ton Syntakton newspaper.
The top Russian diplomat noted that the second six months of this year were not simple for bilateral relations due to a diplomatic crisis sparked by the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Greece that led to the temporary hiatus in bilateral dialogue.
Lavrov argued the worsening of relations was against the interests of both Moscow and Athens. Moscow considers Tsipras’ visit to Russia very timely and important, according to Lavrov.
“We are convinced that there are no barriers to the gradual development of Russian-Greek relations,” Lavrov pointed out.
Russia considers Greece an important partner in ensuring peace and stability in Europe, particularly in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans, according to Lavrov.
However, despite the overwhelming majority of the Greek population being against NATO, successive governments mostly align their foreign policy to serve the Atlantic Alliance’s agenda. The only major exception to this was the NATO aggression against Serbia where Athens refused to open its airfields for NATO use.
With Russia gaining a foothold in the Mediterranean in Syria, it is expected that Moscow wants to prioritize mending relations with Athens so that it can fully secure a nexus in the Eastern Mediterranean. This is especially feasible since Russia has successfully been able to swing Ankara’s interests towards Moscow rather than Washington, potentially allowing the Eurasian Giant to have complete dominance in this part of the world despite Washington’s efforts to be the hegemon.