NEWS

Putin speaks to Tsipras as Russia urges compromise for Greece

putin-speaks-to-tsipras-as-russia-urges-compromise-for-greece

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras discussed the referendum in Greece that rejected further austerity measures, as the Kremlin urged compromise between the European Union member and its creditors.

Putin “expressed his support to the people of Greece in overcoming the difficulties facing the country,” the Kremlin said in an e-mailed statement on Monday. The two leaders also discussed issues concerning the long-term development of relations between Russia and Greece, it said.

Greece and its creditors should reach a compromise “as soon as possible,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters earlier on a conference call. Russia respects the result of the referendum and would like Greece to take decisions that contribute to “social and economical stability in the country,” he said.

Some 61 percent of Greek voters rejected creditors’ proposals for further austerity in Sunday’s referendum after Tsipras, who visited St. Petersburg last month for talks with Putin, urged them to vote “no.” Time is running out for Greece to secure a new deal to save its economy from outright collapse. Eurozone leaders are due to meet on Tuesday for an emergency summit on Greece a day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande hold talks in Paris on a common position.

Greece has never asked Russia for financial aid in dealing with the debt crisis, Peskov said. Greek issues might be discussed on the sidelines of a BRICS summit in Ufa this week of leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, though they are not on the official agenda, he said.

[Bloomberg]