German officials warn Athens that if they want to continue receiving European aid, their ‘compass must point to Brussels’
As Greece’s Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, left Athens for Moscow today for talks on Wednesday with President Vladimir Putin, Russia’s Kommersant paper quoted an unnamed government source saying that Russia was “ready to consider the issue of a gas price discount for Greece”. There were also reports that Moscow might offer Greece substantial loans in return for unspecified “assets” in the country, which is struggling to meet the EU’s and International Monetary Fund’s conditions for extensions to its current bailout.
The suggestion has angered members of Mr Tsipras’s Syriza party, who believe Greece should be able to pursue its own course in relations with Russia, without EU interference. One leading Syriza MP, Yannis Balafas, told The Independent: “Our membership of the eurozone doesn’t conflict with our bilateral ties with [Russia]. Many may want to criticise Greece, saying the meetings will come to antagonise our relationship with Europe, but this is a lie. We’re not playing with our foreign policy, we’re just making use of our geopolitical advantages.”