Greece wants Russia to go on with pressure on Balkan governments

Greece will ask Russia to continue bringing political pressure to bear on the governments of THE Balkan countries, said Greek Defence Minister Yiannos Papandoniou.

He gave a high assessment of Russia's share in Balkan stabilization and said that Athens respects Russia's decision to limit military presence in the region. However, "we will ask it to go on with political pressure on the governments of countries in this region", Papandoniou said to journalists after the Tuesday talks in Moscow with Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov.

The negotiations' participants declared the coincidence of the two countries' positions on the main issues of international and European security.

Under discussion was, alongside the Balkans, the situations in Cyprus, Iraq, Afghanistan and some countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Sergei Ivanov said. "We have come to the conclusion that the positions of Russia and Greece on all the basic security questions are practically the same and are going to continue our co-operation in this vein", said the head of the Russian foreign-policy agency.

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