Russian President Vladimir Putin and Greek President Konstantinos Stefanopoulos have expressed their confidence that Russian leader's official visit to Greece, which started on Thursday, will be productive. At the very start of Russian-Greek negotiations, Vladimir Putin thanked Mr. Stefanopoulos for his invitation. Mr. Putin said that he was certain that the two leaders' "dialogue will be useful and fruitful." In turn, the Greek president said, "I am confident that during your stay you will see for yourself that Greece is friendly to you personally, the Russian people, and Russia, the country which plays a critical role in international affairs." Delegations from the two countries participate in the Russo-Greek talks. The Russian delegation includes such high-ranking officials as Deputy Prime Minister Valentina Matviyenko, Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, Deputy Heads of the Kremlin Administration Dmitry Medvedev and Sergei Prikhodko, Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov, and Head of Gasprom Alexei Miller.