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PRESS RELEASE


Greece Is Not Going To Join ’Cold War’ Against Russia

Nov. 28, 2016 (EIRNS)—In an interview with RIA Novosti, Dimitris Velanis, foreign policy advisor to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, said Greece will not join any "cold war" against Russia.

"We appreciate the friendly policy of cooperation pursued by Putin toward Greece.... That is why Greece will never agree to play a ’cold war’ against Russia,"

Velanis said, further elaborating that no other countries had made attempts, particularly the United States, to engage Greece in anti-Russia policy as the media reported following lame-duck U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Greece earlier in November.

"Speaking about Greek-Russian relations, about those ’bans’ by the United States, that have been actively discussed in the media ... I can say with all responsibility, there has been no attempt to implement a ban.... There was no pressure and, moreover, no ban, and would not ever be."

Velanis, who also advises Tsipras on Russian affairs, also discussed Greece and Russia’s relations:

"We are preparing major projects to create joint ventures in the field of shipbuilding and ship repairs in Greek and Russian shipyards. The enterprises themselves will announce details of this cooperation themselves"

Velanis voiced support for the Russian position on sending oil tankers to Syria for supplying its military operations and asserted that these were not a violation of sanctions against Syria as some Western countries have claimed. He also said that Greece was not considering a ban on such ships passing through Greek waters or ports.

"We understand that Russia, by placing its Navy and Air Force in Syria, should of course refuel them," Velanis said. "The appropriate Greek authorities are taking a certain position. I think the issue of a ban is not on the table at all."