RIEAS | Research Institute for 
European and American Studies

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Vladimir Olenchenko
(PhD in Law, Senior Research Fellow, IMEMO RAN, RIAC expert)

Yuri Kvashnin
(PhD in History, Head of the European Union Studies Department, IMEMO RAN, RIAC expert)

Copyright: http://russiancouncil.ru (Date of Publication: 2 March 2014)

Historical Preview

Russian-Greek bilateral relations have deep historical roots. From the 18th centuryonwards, as a constituent region in the Ottoman Empire, and as an independent state since 1830, Greece has had particular geostrategic significance for Russia. Due to its geographic situation Greece for protracted periods acted as a pro-Russian and Orthodox mainstay in the Balkans (alongside Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro). Greece’s independence is to a great extent predicated on the active support – economic, diplomatic and military – that Russia rendered to that country’s national-liberation movement. At the same time, due to the significant political influence exerted on Greece by two other powers that also acted as patrons, namely Great Britain and France, relations between Russia and Greece in the 19th century did not develop smoothly. In the final decades of the Russian Empire, Slavic states such as Serbia, Montenegro and, to a certain extent, Bulgaria were among Russia’s top diplomatic priorities in the Balkans....Read more


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