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2 Jun, 2008 10:16

Greece works towards easier visas for Russians

The third Greco-Russian business forum has been held in Moscow. The event is aimed at improving commercial ties between the two countries.

In a speech at the event on Monday, Russia’s Minister of Agriculture, Alexey Gordeev, said Greece and the Netherlands were the only countries that had a common action plan with Russia.  

The head of Greek delegation, Deputy Foreign Minister Petros Dukas, described  Russia as “a great and friendly country”.

He pointed out that Russia’s exports to Greece amounted to $US 300 million, while imports rose to $US 2.5 billion.

Trade turnover between Russia and Greece is growing at almost 40 % a year, according to the Russian Ministry of Agriculture.

However, Alexey Gordeev has voiced concerns about the level of food imports into Russia. He has said imports comprise up to 40% of the average consumer’s shopping trolley.

“If prices abroad are growing – and there are signs of it, taking into consideration rising energy prices, this will affect domestic markets,” Gordeev said.

He has said Russia's main goal is to diversify its exports. Currently natural resources account for 80% of foreign sales.

The minister said the country is ready to supply not only oil, but also machines and tools for factories. He also said Russia was ready to sell new technology.

Monday’s talks concentrated on the opportunities of investment in third countries, the Sochi Olympics, and the further simplification of visas for Russian citizens wishing to travel to Greece.