Greek foreign minister in Russia for talks with Lavrov

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias will hold talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Wednesday amid speculation that Athens might seek financing help outside the euro zone if negotiations with its European partners fail.

Greece’s foreign ministry said Kotzias had been invited to Moscow by Lavrov.

Athens is trying to reach a deal with its euro zone partners on transitional funding until June before a new debt agreement can be agreed.

On Tuesday Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Nikos Chountis, who holds the European Affairs portfolio, told Greek radio that Russia and China had offered economic support, though Athens had not requested it.

The head of the nationalist junior partner party in Greece’s coalition government, Defence Minister Panos Kammenos, has said that if Athens fails to clinch a deal with Europe it could look elsewhere for help, mentioning Russia, China and the United States. [Reuters]