Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said yesterday that he was ready to consider financial help for debt-stricken Greece, so long as Athens signs up to a project to bring more Russian gas to Europe.
Athens has already been discussing an energy pipeline deal with Russia.
It has been reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin told Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras by phone that Russia was willing to provide financing to Greek companies involved in a planned extension to the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project.
The Kremlin said in a statement that Putin had made similar assurances to Tsipras during the Greek leader's visit to Moscow in April.
Russia's Gazprom plans to supply up to 63 billion m3/yr of gas via Turkish Stream and create a gas hub on the Turkish border with Greece, through which it wants to transit 47 billion m3/yr into countries in southern Europe.
Russia has been speculated about as a potential source of funding for Greece if it fails to reach a deal with European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders, but Athens has denied plans to turn to Moscow for help.
Edited from various sources by Elizabeth Corner
Sources: Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, Ekathimerini