August 2005

Global Greece-Russia

Global Greece explores one country's commercial presence in Greece and investment and trade between the two countries. Each month ELKE e-News presents an overview of a different country. This month's article was prepared in collaboration with Russian Trade Representative Alexander Mikhaylitsin.

Greek-Russian relations date back to the 10th Century and the historical presence of a significant number of ethnic-Greek Russians living in Russia has furthered the economic, political, and cultural ties between the two countries.

Bilateral trade drives Greek-Russian economic relations and has significantly increased in volume during the last ten years.  In 2004, Russia accounted for 4.7% of Greece’s cumulative foreign trade turnover. Russia was the 14th largest importer of Greek exports, importing roughly 2.1% of the total turnover, and the 5th largest exporter to Greece, accounting for roughly 5.4% of the total turnover.

Volume of Foreign Trade between Russia and Greece








Commodity circulation, including







 Greek Imports from Russia







 Greek Exports to Russia







Source: National Statistical Service of Greece

Greek imports from Russia during 2004 consisted mainly of crude petroleum (44.9 % of the cumulative cost of Greek imports from Russia), mineral oil (20.7%), natural gas (10.6%), waste products and scarp of ferrous metals (5.2%), and raw aluminum (4.2%). Russian petroleum, mineral oil, and natural gas satisfy a significant share of the Greek market’s needs—35%, 45%, and 75%, respectively. Greece also buys military and technical products manufactured in Russia.

During 2004, Greek exports to Russia consisted mainly of fur (40.3% of cumulative cost of Greek exports to Russia), tobacco (6.2%), paints and varnishes (5.6%), steel pipes (4.3%), peaches (3.6%), tinned fruits (3.0%), equipment for the industrial production of food and drinks (2.4%), rice paper (2.1%), film made of polymeric materials and foil (1.8%), and mineral oil (1.8%).

Bilateral cooperation in the field of power engineering is an important segment of economic relations between the two countries. Russian companies Technopromexport, Stroytransgas, Zangas, Energomashexport, and Gazprom (or consortia with  the participation of Russian companies) have constructed and renovated a number of power facilities in Greece, including the gas main pipeline that extends from the Hellenic-Bulgarian border to Athens, some gas pipelines, mains and taps, and several large power stations. Russian companies deliver equipment and participate in the construction of a number of power facilities that are being constructed in Greece.

Greece and Russia are strategic partners in the energy field. With the signing of a memorandum of cooperation between the two governments in the spring, Greece and Russia finalized the building of a trans-Balkan oil pipeline from Burgas (Bulgaria) to Alexandroupolis (Greece). This Russian-Greek-Bulgarian energy project will ensure that the three countries will be among the key regional players in the energy sector.

In the field of investments, 50 enterprises of Greek interest are active in Russia and have invested a total of 69.2 million U.S. dollars in capital.  According to Russian data, 128 Greek-Russian joint ventures have been registered, which are active mainly in the fields of trade, agriculture, industry, services, tourism, construction, energy, transport, and technology. Russian Greek companies stationed in Greece include Prometeygas, and representative offices of Stoytransgas, Technopromexport, Power Machines, and former Energomashexport and Chimmashexport.

Greece and Russia are enjoying a continued upward momentum in bilateral trade and economic relations. The Russian Federation looks forward to reaching the huge potential that exists for further enrichment of Greek-Russian economic relations.  

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