The new balances in the EU where Mitsotakis bets

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By Dimitris Gatsios

Wednesday morning in Sochi, the famous Russian Black Sea resort that was the setting for the 2014 Winter Olympics, was nothing like the … wild winter in Moscow. In the city where the season is getting late and the night is coming close to the afternoon, the citizens’ rhythms have not changed since the presence of Vladimir Putin. Only a dozen police officers on the way from the center to the suburb where the Russian president’s country house is located testified to his arrival. And the simultaneous arrival of the Greek Prime Minister for a four-on-four that brought with him the first steps in the effort to restart relations between Athens and Moscow.

Two hours with a full talk menu. From bilateral relations and the pandemic front to energy, developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and Biden-Putin communication. In a momentum defined, if nothing else, by the climate of tension created by the West’s confrontation with Moscow over the Ukrainian issue.

The rapprochement

According to many, Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s meeting with Vladimir Putin marked a change in the relations between the two countries, with Athens and Moscow having the opportunity to catch the thread again, healing … wounds that opened about three years ago. years. Greece, for the last two years and more, as factors observe, has been building a multidimensional diplomatic strategy, having strengthened its footprint in the wider region. Kyriakos Mitsotakis always stands on the bank of open communication channels. And this was shown by his presence in Sochi.

According to government officials, Greece is a member of the European Union and NATO, which are the basis of its foreign policy. Supports and respects the decisions of these organizations. This, however, does not preclude the expansion of relations with Moscow. “We know where we belong, but at the same time we are developing our relationship with Russia, with which we have a broad agenda of issues that are purely bilateral and not necessarily affected by problems in Euro-Russian relations or NATO relations with Russia “, said Mr. Mitsotakis in his conversation with the envoys of the Greek media. “Always within the EU and NATO, we will seek de-escalation and not a rhetoric of tension,” Kyriakos Mitsotakis added.

With energy remaining a thorn in the side, Athens and Moscow seem to be pursuing the highly efficient rental of Beriev-type firefighting aircraft during the summer. Is there room for further improvement in other areas? Government officials say “yes”, citing the economy, investment and tourism as examples. What is becoming clear is that on the bridge to the post-pandemic era, the possibilities of a more independent economic cooperation with Russia should be explored, in which the Greek companies that are active in the country or intend to be active will play a decisive role. Another part is the strengthening of the tourist wave from Russia, which is of particular interest to Athens. What is the goal? Achieving a better 2022 in terms of tourism, by the wave of 2021.

The look at the Summit of “27”

Having completed another round of international contacts, with his presence in Israel (for the Tripartite Summit of Greece – Cyprus – Israel) and Russia, Kyriakos Mitsotakis is now preparing for the … meeting of the “27” leaders of the European Union in Brussels , on the two days of December 15 and 16. And this is a European council if nothing else historic, after the change of baton in Berlin and the … constellation of the Soltz leadership.

In the … heart of the European Union, the Summit of the “27” will take place, as political observers comment, with new correlations. Relationships that are not only a great opportunity for the European edifice, but also for our country itself, which, according to factors, from 2019 until today, and especially in the last critical months, with Mitsotaki’s moves has strengthened its alliances. , building a strong … network of relations with the big capitals. Characteristic, as executives comment, of the further change of the image that Athens presents to the partners is the praise of the Minister of Finance of the new German government and leader of the Liberals, Christian Lindner. He spoke of “very impressive reform measures” of the Greek government, with which the economy “has come to a new path of success”.

The role of alliances

In addition to the developments in Berlin, with a view to the big picture of the European Union, the alliances built by the Mitsotakis government in the last period of time will also play an extremely important role. France takes over the presidency for the first half of 2022 with new leaderships and challenges, while the positions brought to the front line by Emanuel Macron for the aspirations of Paris, if nothing else … touch the framework of the Greek agenda. The common defense policy, the change of the fiscal rules, are dominant issues in the strategy of Athens, at the moment when the Italian Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, enters the equation.

Essentially, a … Macron – Soltz – Draghi trinity is being created in Europe, with common perceptions of the Brussels structure. Macron and Solz have a similar relationship, and one should not overlook, for example, the fact that the new German chancellor is the “architect” of the Recovery Fund, which the president of France wants to continue in the post-pandemic era, with the perspective of France, Germany and Italy to be very close to the “want” of the Greek capital.

* Republished from the circulating CHAPTER

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Source From: Capital

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