ERR in Moscow: Russia will not make concessions to Greece (12)
Greece's debt problems were not on the table during a talk between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow earlier in the week and Russia is unwilling to make exceptions to Greece in its ban on EU food imports, says Neeme Raud, ERR's man in Moscow.
According to Raud, anonymous Greek officials said Tsipras's trip was not aimed at tackling the state's debt problem and he did not ask for financial help from Russia, which itself has seen its economy hit.
Putin also confirmed that Greece did not ask for aid. He also said that Moscow is not attempting to influence EU's Russian-policy by seeking help from individual member states separately.
Tsipras said Greece will follow EU bearing, but added that at the end of the day, Greece is a free country and can also pursue its own foreign policy goals. “I understand very well they [Russian import bans on EU foods] were countermeasures – they were an answer to sanctions, the logic of which we do not understand,” Tsipras said.
“Greece was forced to vote for sanctions against Russia and the countermeasures of course hit Greece,” Putin said, adding that this is not Russia's fault and Russia cannot make exceptions to induvidual EU member states.
Raud said the Russian media had higher expectations for the meeting, especially regarding financial aid and import ban exceptions. However, the heads of state only signed joint declarations and discussed other topics, such as joint ventures and Greece's privatization process.