ATHENS – Returning from a Moscow visit empty-handed, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said he will try to resolve the country’s stalled talks with international lenders as Greece runs out of cash fast.
Tsipras met with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss energy, trade and tourism but didn’t get any financial aid, nor did he ask for any.
Tsipras said that while Russia was a “strategic choice” for Athens, the Greek government would try to come to terms with the Eurozone and its lenders, who are holding back a 7.2-billion euro installment until more reforms are completed.
“For Greece, Russia is an integral part of its dynamic, multifaceted foreign policy which is aimed at exploiting Greece’s geopolitical position so the country can once again gain prospects for growth and boost its role on the international stage,” Tsipras said in a speech to the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.
He stressed that Greece’s priority was to solve its financial problem with the eurozone. “We consider this problem facing us a common European problem and for this reason we seek a joint European solution,” he said.
Tsipras’ Moscow trip ired a number of EU officials who said he should be more pro-European if he wants European help but they were mollified when nothing substantial happened.