NEWS

Greek FM holds energy talks ahead of Tsipras visit to Russia

Energy cooperation will be at the heart of talks between Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and his counterparts from Turkey, Serbia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Hungary to be held in Budapest on Tuesday.

During the meeting, which takes place ahead of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s two-day visit to Moscow on Wednesday, foreign ministers are expected to explore their potential participation in Russian plans for the new Turkish Stream pipeline. The aim is to adopt a joint declaration of interest in the project, Kathimerini understands.

The pipeline, announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ankara in December, would replace the South Stream project and bypass Ukraine.

Kotzias is scheduled to fly from Budapest to Moscow to join Greek-Russian talks.

In comments yesterday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tsipras and Putin would discuss economic ties and the European Union’s sanctions on Russia, which were triggered over Ukraine.

“Relations between Moscow and the EU will be discussed in the light of Brussels’s policy of sanctions and Athens’s quite cold attitude to this policy,” Peskov said.

Citing three Russian government officials, who were not named, Bloomberg on Friday reported that Moscow was unlikely to offer anything in the form of financial aid to Athens but it was nevertheless willing to discuss easing restrictions on Greek food products. The sanctions were imposed in retaliation for EU measures.