Greek Prime Minister Asks Putin For REAL Help in Financial Crisis

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Alexis Tsipras in Russia dismisses criticism that he should be in Brussels solving debt standoff: ‘We are ready to go to new seas to reach new safe ports’

from The Guardian

Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, has made a broad overture to Russia as he seeks a way out of his country’s debt and currency impasse, telling Vladimir Putin that Greece wants new partners to help it out of the crisis.

In a speech delivered in front of Putin in Russia, Tsipras said Moscow was one of Greece’s most important partners, and dismissed critics who wondered why he was in St Petersburg and not in Brussels trying to secure an urgent deal with European creditors.

“As all of you are fully aware, we are at the moment at the centre of a storm, of a whirlpool, but we live near the sea so we’re not scared of storms. We are ready to go to new seas to reach new safe ports,” he added, in a subtle nod to his hosts.

Tsipras said the world’s economic centre of gravity had shifted and that there are “new emerging forces” such as the Bric countries and Putin’s new Eurasian union that are playing a more important economic role.

“Russia is one of the most important partners for us,” said the Greek prime minister, ahead of formal talks with Putin.

His intervention came as Greece teetered on the brink of a banking crisis, a deal between the government in Athens and creditors owed $320bn still elusive. Greece wants significant debt relief in return for fiscal reforms; lenders are reluctant to be generous to a country that has struggled to balance the books for years.

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