Economy, News

Putin invites Tsipras to join Turkish Stream Pipeline Project

Tsipras did not ask Russia for funds during Moscow visit, but loans for projects in energy and food are possible, Putin said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Greece’s participation in the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project was possible, but any decisions would depend on the technical details.

At a press conference after meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras Wednesday, Putin said he also discussed other projects in energy, with possible loan funding from Russia.

Tsipras told the press that “Greece would gladly build a Greek pipeline for natural gas from the Turkish-Greek border.”

Tsipras’ visit came just a day before Greece is due to make a 450-million euro payment to the International Monetary Fund – a sum the Greek government said it will be able to fulfill. But Greece is rapidly running out of money and will not be able to run its banks or public services at the end of April without aid.

Nonetheless, Putin said that no request for financial aid had been made.

Putin said this would allow Russia to grant loans for related projects, and income from such projects could eventually help Greece pay back debt.

Tsipras took the opportunity at the press conference to criticize EU sanctions against Russia for its role in the Ukraine conflict. Tsipras called for “dialogue instead,” and said that “Greece would form a bridge between the EU and Russia.”

But Putin turned down the Greek leader’s request to lift reactive sanctions against the Greek food industry, which, like all of those in the West, has been banned from the Russian market.

Both leaders said this would create chances for further investment and the creation of jobs in Greece. However, they said any detail was yet to be worked out by energy specialists on both sides.

Putin said the two governments agreed to make investments in food production in Russia, which he said would help Greece find its way back into the Russian market.

Separately, Greece succeeded in auctioning off €1.138 billion euros ($1.24 billion) of six-month Treasury bills Wednesday in the first of two auctions expected in April, as it seeks to find funding.

The bonds were sold at a yield of 2.97 percent, the same yield as at a March auction. Investors were not expected to take on the additional risks inherent in Greek sovereign debt, but observers said there is optimism about a bailout soon.

Resource: TRT English, April 9, 2015


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