Greece Offers to Help Russia’s Shipbuilding Industry

Greece is ready to take part in joint ventures for the construction and servicing of Russian ships in Greek shipyards, according to Dimitrios Velanis, an advisor to the Greek Prime Minister.

Velanis, who advises Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on cooperation with Russia, spoke to RIA news agency ahead of this year’s edition of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). 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.