NEWS

Putin gives Tsipras ancient Greek icon

As a sign of a blossoming friendship, Russian President Vladimir Putin has given visiting Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras an ancient Greek icon stolen by Nazis during the German occupation of Greece.

Greece’s international creditors are watching Tsipras’ visit to Russia with concern amid speculation that Greece might seek aid from Russia, as a bargaining chip with Western creditors.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian news agencies on Thursday that Putin presented the icon depicting Saint Nicholas and Saint Spyridon to Tsipras following talks at the Kremlin on Wednesday.

Peskov said the icon was stolen by a Nazi officer when Greece was under German occupation in the Second World War, and was recently bought by an unnamed Russian man from the officer’s descendants.

[AP]