Relations between the Greek and Russian peoples have "deep roots" stretching back to the times of antiquity and Byzantine, said Apostolos Kaklamanis, speaker of the Greek parliament, in greeting Russian President Vladimir Putin. After recalling the "decisive role of the Russian people" in the struggle of the Greeks against the Turkish tyranny, he said that "we share common ideals, common cultural traditions and a common system of values". New times, the Greek parliamentary speaker went on to say, are making us together give an answer to "new challenges". He spoke of the need "jointly with other European peoples to apply the ideals of a single and undivided Europe" so that the European continent could become "a common space of peace and cooperation without any restrictive lines". After noting that Greece actively supports the strengthening of ties between Russia and the European Union, Kaklamanis again thanked Russia for backing Greece on the Cyprus issue.
An explosion of household gas occurred in a nine-storeyed apartment building in the city of Shakhty, the Rostov region of Russia. The blast destroyed two storeys of the building