Russian President Vladimir Putin will fly to Greece on an official visit on Thursday morning. Deputy head of the Kremlin administration Sergei Prikhodko reported that in the first half of the day negotiations would be held in Athens between Vladimir Putin and president of Greece Konstandinos Stephanopoulos, first in the narrow and then in an enlarged format. On their results it is planned to sign a number of bilateral agreements pertaining to practical collaboration in various spheres. In the second half of the day the head of the Russian state will meet with deputies and chairman of the Greek parliament Apostoles Kaklamanis as well with leader of the main opposition party New Democracy Konstandinos Karamanlis. Vladimir Putin is also going to meet with Archbishop of Athens and all Greece Christodulos. At the end of the Putin's first day in Greece there will be a dinner on behalf of the Greek president. On Friday, December 7, after a short excursion to the Athens Acropolis and laying wreaths to the tomb of the unknown soldier the Russian president will hold negotiations with prime minister of Greece Konstandinos Simitis in the narrow and then in an enlarged format. A breakfast will be organised after the negotiations on behalf of the prime minister. Then Vladimir Putin will visit the Athens Mayor's office where he will meet with Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos. It is expected that Avramopoulos and Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, who accompanies the president in his tour, will sign an agreement on cooperation between Moscow and Athens. In the evening the head of the Russian state will make a speech in the Athens university where he will receive a diploma of the honorary doctor of this educational establishment. Two meetings of the Russian president with major Greek businessmen are also planned -- president of Latsis Group and chairman of Kapelouzos Group consortium. On Saturday, December 8 Vladimir Putin will meet with representatives of the Russian and Greek orthodox churches on the Holy Mount Athos. He will go there from Salonika where he will arrive on Saturday morning from Athens. President of Russia will visit the St. Panteleimon's monastery, where he will see the Cathedral, vestry, library and will have a talk with Hegumen -- the holy Archimandrite Jeremiah. In Karyes, the capital of Athos, Putin will meet with representatives of Protata (the supreme self-government body), will visit the Dormition Church, and then will go to the Greek St. Andrew's Retreat monastery. In the evening the head of the Russian state will return to Salonika where he will acquaint himself with the historical part of the city and will visit the St. Demetrius' Church. On Sunday morning, December 9 Putin will fly to Hannover (Germany) for a working meeting with chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of Germany.
The United States has imposed new sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, which still remains under construction