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Greek prime minister to visit Russia


Greek prime minister to visit Russia

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Photo: Costas Baltas/AFP/Getty

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi today.

The leaders plan to discuss many low-level foreign policy issues, though energy will likely be the focus, as Russia is one of Greece’s main suppliers. Greece imports 45.85% of its natural gas and 9.5% of crude oil from Russia. Athens hopes to secure a bilateral agreement that would have an immediate, favorable impact on natural gas prices.

Tensions between the two states have risen amid Greece’s efforts to strengthen defense cooperation with the US. Earlier this year, the US and Greece signed an extension of their defense cooperation agreement, a move that will advance security in the region and increase NATO’s ability to deter Russia.

Both sides likely seek to improve bilateral relations. It is uncertain how Moscow will respond to Greece’s demands, but it recently indicated interest in Greece’s transport sector and may propose coordination on infrastructure. Russia also aims to enhance Greece’s dependence on Russian exports, as part of its broader strategy to undermine the solidarity of NATO and the EU. Despite expected economic coordination, the future of Greek-Russian relations remains unforeseeable as Greece continually emphasizes its commitment to EU and NATO partners.

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