Relations between Moscow and Athens will remain stable and neutral following Sunday’s snap parliamentary election in Greece, Senior Researcher with the Department of Black and Mediterranean Sea studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Europe Sergei Zabelin told TASS on Monday.
"Right-wing forces have come to power, and a thing to note is that the Russian leadership have always had more constructive relations with them," he pointed out. "At the same time, Greece is not independent in terms of making major political decisions because it is a member of the European Union and NATO. This is why it seems impossible for Athens to make any specific decisions concerning relations with Moscow without consulting Brussels. No matter who comes to power, the Greek authorities can be expected to support EU sanctions," the expert added.
According to Zabelin, the nature of relations between the two countries portends neither an improvement nor a deterioration in ties. "It’s not right to say that we can expect a breakthrough in relations. On the other hand, Russian-Greek relations cannot be expected to deteriorate. Relations are stable, they are changing neither for the better nor for the worse. This is what reality is and nothing else is possible," he noted. "Relations between Russia and Greece will remain stable and friendly in a neutral way," he added.
"At the same time, our common historical background, cultural heritage and centuries-long ties between our nations are still there. The Greek people still have a friendly and respectful attitude to the Russian people, and Russian tourists continue to take pleasure in visiting Greece," the expert went on to say.
Zabelin pointed out that foreign policy debates hadn’t been important during the recent election campaign. In his view, Greek voters casted their ballots in favor of a change in domestic policies. "The snap parliamentary election was in fact a vote of confidence for the policies pursued by the Tsipras government and a response to what has been going on in the country for the past four years. "No foreign policy issues were raised during the election debates. It was about internal squabbles between two major rivals, the New Democracy party and Coalition of the Radical Left led by Tsipras," Zabelin explained.
The New Democracy liberal-conservative party won the parliamentary election held in Greece on Sunday. According to the country’s Interior Ministry, the party will have a 158-seat majority in the 300-seat parliament and will also be able to form a new government.
The Coalition of the Radical Left led by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras received 86 seats.
On Monday, leader of the New Democracy party Kyriakos Mitsotakis was sworn in as Greece's new prime minister.