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Putin: Greece did not seek financial aid from Russia

April 8, 2015 6:29 pm

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras did not ask for financial aid from Russia during talks in Moscow, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has said.

There had been speculation that Mr Tsipras would seek Russian aid to ease Greece’s debt crisis, and to counter pressure from its creditors in the EU.

Mr Putin said Russia would consider loans to Greece for big joint projects, potentially in the energy sector.

But analysts say Russia’s own economic woes mean any help would be limited.

Greece’s new government is embroiled in negotiations with the EU and IMF to unblock a bailout package and could run out of funds within weeks.

Russia was among Greece’s leading trade partners before sanctions on its energy industry and Greece’s own economic difficulties reduced trade between the two countries by 40%.

Mr Putin called for trade relations to be restored, and said the two leaders had discussed “various ways of co-operating, including major projects in energy”.

“Under these plans, we could provide loans for certain projects,” he said, adding that it was not a question of aid.

One of those plans is for a pipeline called “Turkish Stream”, to channel natural gas from the Turkish-Greek border into Greece.