Putin arrives in Greece for two days of politics, business, religion

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Athens Friday for a two-day visit to Greece with trade, energy, migration and Moscow's relations with NATO on the agenda.

Putin and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras signed a deal on the Turkish Stream natural gas pipeline in 2015, but tensions between Moscow and Ankara sidelined the project.

Moscow's relations with Turkey are strained over the civil war in Syria, where they back opposing sides, and with NATO - of which both Greece and Turkey are members - over various issues, mainly the alliance's expansion into former Soviet states.

Ahead of the visit, Putin said that he would love to revive the pipeline plan. In a letter published online by the Athens daily Ekathimerini, he also said Russia is interested in buying Greece's railway operator Trainose and the Thessaloniki port.

On Saturday, Putin is due to visit Mount Athos, also known as the Holy Mountain, on a peninsula in the Aegean, which is home to numerous monasteries and sacred sites for Orthodox Christians.

He is scheduled to visit Saint Panteleimon Monastery and the mostly Russian monks who have resided there for a full millennium this year.

At the monastery he is expected to be joined by the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, who arrived in Thessaloniki earlier Friday.

Last update: Fri, 27/05/2016 - 18:47
Author: 

More from Europe

One dead after central Italy hit by series of quakes

One person was killed on Wednesday when a building collapsed during four powerful quakes that shook central Italy on...

Boris Johnson compares French president to WWII prison guard

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Wednesday compared Francois Hollande to a World War II prison guard after...

Merkel pledges to hold Europe together after Brexit

German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged on Wednesday to hold the European Union together after Britain's planned...

Slovenia looks to capitalize on its connection to Melania Trump

As Donald Trump campaigned for the Oval Office, his Slovenian-born wife Melania did not receive much love and...

EC recommends Croatia's gradual integration into Schengen Information System

The European Commission on Wednesday made a recommendation to the Council of the European Union to gradually...