Athens sent a delegation to the St. Petersburg Economic Forum (SPIEF), which has spanned the latter part of this week, in a bid to secure Russian cooperation in possible joint endeavours. The event drew over 15,000 participants from over 100 countries and heads of state from France and China. One area in which Greece was there to seek Russian cooperation on was in the sector of shipbuilding.
Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide reports:
Athens is ready to create joint ventures for the construction and servicing of Russian ships in Greek shipyards, according to Greek prime ministerial adviser Dimitrios Velanis.
Velanis, who’s an adviser on cooperation with Russia, talked to RIA Novosti ahead of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF 2018). He’s a member of the Greek delegation which will participate at the forum on May 24-26.
According to the official, Greece expects to ink a range of agreements on cooperation in the area of shipping, agriculture and various joint ventures.
Greece has an excellent shipyards base, where part of the Russian fleet passing through the Mediterranean Sea could be serviced,” he said, adding the country is ready to provide competitive conditions and prices and develop this business. “This can also be done on the basis of joint ventures.”
There’s already a program for joint construction of ships, including, catamarans, Velanis said.
“The construction can partly take place on the shipyards of Russia, and be completed at the Greek shipyards on the basis of joint ventures.”
Velanis explained that the financial crisis in Greece undermined the position of the Greek shipbuilding.
“Russia has been repairing ships in three-four Greek shipyards every year, but that has been halted. We want some of our shipyards to cooperate with Russia, and only have to launch the process,” he said.
It is very fitting that these two historical allies, with deep cultural and religious ties, look to embark on an endeavour that is strategically important from Russia, and economically significant for Greece. Let us hope that this could lead to more joint economic endeavours between Moscow and Athens.