Russia Welcomes The Fact That Greece Will Chair In European Union

President of Russia Vladimir Putin hopes that when in a year Greece will be the chairman of the European Union "the movement of Russia and Europe towards each other will be particularly effective". The head of the Russian state said this in an interview he gave the Greek newspapers Eleftherotypia and To Vima on the threshold of his visit to Greece. The text of the interview was received from the press service of the president of the Russian Federation. At the same time, as Putin said, he cannot say that Russia wants "to use Greece's chairmanship for resolving some or other problems in an accelerated way". "But it would also be wrong to ignore the fact that in Russia they have always had a special liking for Greece, and our foreign-policy goals very frequently coincide". For this reason, I do not have a slightest doubt that during the chairmanship by Greece all the work done in recent time not only will not be lost or die but, conversely, will actively develop, and we will be moving to a common goal", the Russian president said. "Creation of a common economic space in Europe is one of these goals", Putin believes. In his opinion, "both Russia and the European community, including Greece, are interested in it". "Preparation and corresponding formalisation and fulfilment of a joint energy programme is another task facing us. We have long been considering the programme together with the EU, and I do not see why during Greece's chairmanship it would not be possible to actively develop it, to attain some concrete accords, and to start implementing them, especially because Greece itself is interested in carrying out many energy projects jointly with Russia on a bilateral basis", Putin said. According to him, very much in the spiritual, cultural sense links Russia and Greece. The president called Greece "a cradle of modern civilisation" and of Russian spiritual life because Orthodoxy came to Rus precisely from there. "And after its advent Russia gradually began to become a European country", the president said. "Indeed, nothing ever seriously divided us even at the time when we were actually in different ideological blocs. Even during that period of time what united us was indeed stronger than what was the subject of our disputes", Putin emphasized.