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Russian Foreign Minister in Athens

The meeting between Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has concluded with the two officials exchanging pleasantries and committing to closer bilateral relations.

Mr. Samaras noted the ties with Russia stressing that it is a country with a strong strategic importance for Greece, something verified by the Rusian minister.

Mr. Lavrov added that Russia wants to help Greece through economic and commercial collaborations, as well as noting that Russia wants a strong Greece.

In closing. The two officials referred to tourism and especially the rise in Russian arrivals to Greece, with Antonis Samaras noting the importance of tourism income for Greece.

The Russian delegation also discussed energy issues and Greek railways. The Russian foreign minister is accompanied by the head of state-run monopoly Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin.

Earlier, along with Greek counterpart Evangelos Venizelos, Mr. Lavrov attended a conference on Greece's first governor, Ioannis Kapodistrias and modern Greek-Russian ties, held to mark 185 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.