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EU Officials Cannot Damage Russia’s Ties With European Partners

© Sputnik / Go to the photo bankPresident Vladimir Putin visits Greece
President Vladimir Putin visits Greece - Sputnik International
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Russian President Vladimir Putin began his visit to Greece on Friday, the first EU country this year. Greece has long opposed the European policy of sanctions against Russia.

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.

May 27, 2016. Russian President Vladimir Putin during talks with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Athens. - Sputnik International
Why Greece is Unlikely to Oppose EU on Extending Anti-Russian Sanctions
The example of Greece shows that EU bureaucracy with its anti-Russian rhetoric cannot ruin bilateral relations between Moscow and European countries, an article in the Russian online newspaper Vzglyad read.

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.

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