During the trip, President Putin held talks with representatives of the Greek government, including Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, signed several economic cooperation agreements, and also visited the Russian monastery on Mount Athos.
Ahead of the visit, the Greek newspaper Kathimerini published an article by the Russian leader on the current situation in the EU. According to Putin, Russia wants an equal dialogue and partnership with Brussels on a wide range of issues, from visa liberalization with the EU to an energy alliance. However, the president noted, "European colleagues are not yet ready for such constructive relations."
Vladimir Putin also called on European leaders to consider bilateral interests in ties between Brussels and Moscow.
The EU’s unwillingness for dialogues was confirmed by President of the European Council Donald Tusk. During his visit to Japan, he said that Brussels was ready to go on with anti-Russian sanctions, without additional discussions.
The European Union is also not ready for dialogue with its own members. Currently, differences are multiplying within the bloc over the sanctions against Russia. A growing number of countries are urging the removal of them.
In his article, Vladimir Putin also underscored that despite sanctions Moscow is set to develop cooperation with Athens in several fields, including energy and transport.
The president expressed hope that after the South Stream and Turkish Stream gas pipelines were cancelled a new energy hub for Russian gas in Europe would be built in Greece.