Two Soviet Warships arrived in Piraeus Harbour near Athens on Monday (23 October) to begin a five day visit to Greece.
Two Soviet Warships arrived in Piraeus Harbour near Athens on Monday (23 October) to begin a five day visit to Greece. It is the first time in fifty years that the Soviet navy has been in a Greek port. Last month two Greek destroyers visited the Soviet Port of Odessa. These visits are aimed at improving Greek-Soviet relations.
SYNOPSIS: The Soviet warship, "Denzinsky", is a 16,000 ton cruiser known for her excellent radio electronic equipment. The Commander of the Soviet Black Sea Fleet, three star Admiral Nikolai Ivanovitch Havrin was in command of the ships. This event follows the visit of the Greek Foreign Minister, Mr. Georgios Rallis to the Soviet Union last month.
The other warship, "Shokry", is a 4,000 ton destroyer. According to "The Times" of London, relations between Greece and the Soviet Union have been uneasy for decades, and newspapers in Athens have reported to marked Soviet bias in favour of Turkey in the volatile Aegean rights dispute.
The Soviet Admiral and his officers will exchanges visits with the Greek Navy Chief and lay wreaths at the Monument to Dead Sailors. The public will be invited aboard the vessels on Wednesday (25 October).
Greece has been anxious to discover how Moscow would react to an extension of Greek territorial waters from six to 12 miles. The Soviet Union has opposed such an extension in the past because it would give the Greeks an advantage over Turkey in the dispute over the continental shelf.
The Greeks are interested in Soviet technology and are hoping to supply the Soviet Union with wine in return for oil storage tanks. but it is Moscow's support for Greek efforts to settle the Aegean rights dispute with Turkey, through the International court of Justice, that Greece is looking for.
While the ships are in Greece plans are going ahead for the opening of a Soviet Consul in Salonika and a greek one in Odessa.