Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias’ statement at the opening of his meeting with his Russian Federation counterpart Sergei Lavrov (Sochi, 24.05.2021)

Thank you very much. It is a great pleasure and honour to be hosted here in Sochi today. Indeed, during your last visit to Athens in October, I had expressed the wish for us to meet, if you would like to, in this area where people of Greek origin live.

Greeks came to this region 2,500 years ago and I think they contributed significantly to the creation of what is the great Russia today. I will meet with them after my visit and that is a great pleasure for me. Thank you for giving me this opportunity.

I also thank you for noting that Greece, Byzantium, introduced the transformation of the Greek alphabet into a Slavic one  many centuries ago. Your reference to history highlights the depth of our relationship. Furthermore, it is a great opportunity for me to discuss with you both bilateral and regional issues hoping for us to establish an even stronger relationship and better understand the broader issues.

Thank you again for this important opportunity.