13:48 May. 26, 2016
Russia seems to be eager to patch up relations with European Union
Russia and the European Union need to build a 'an equal and fair dialogue' as partners to overcome their differences, President Vladimir Putin said in an article published in a Greek newspaper on Thursday on an eve of a visit to the country.
Western financial sanctions were imposed on Moscow in 2014 over its role in the Ukraine conflict, where it annexed Crimea. Russia has imposed counter sanctions against West, including a ban on agricultural produce.
Putin will be in Athens on Friday, and also visit Greece's monastic community at Mount Athos in northern Greece on Saturday.
Greece, along with Cyprus, are among E.U. member states with close relations to Moscow. They are lukewarm toward sanctions on Russia but comply.
'Russia's starting point is the need to build an equal and fair dialogue of partners with the European Union on a wide range of issues, - from simplifying visa processes to building energy alliances,' he wrote in Greece's Kathimerini newspaper.
While the EU did not appear to feel the same way, Putin said, 'there is no problem which cannot be solved'.