During a joint press conference with President Vladimir Putin, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that the EU economic war against Russia could lead to a new Cold War, and that Athens will try to become a ‘negotiations bridge’ between Europe and Russia to resolve the issue
Greece disagrees with the anti-Russia sanctions imposed by the West and considers them a form of economic warfare, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Wednesday.”The Greek economy was greatly harmed due to the response to the sanctions… We understand very well that the retaliatory measures came as a response to the sanctions, the logic of which we do not agree with. We have repeatedly voiced our disagreement,” Tsipras said at a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
According to Tsipras, Greece has raised the issue of anti-Russia sanctions at various EU summits.
“We don’t think that this is a fruitful solution to the economic war. In fact, it will lead to a Cold War relationship between the West and Russia,” Tsipras added.
In turn, Putin stressed that despite the fact that the Greek economy was hard-hit by the counter-sanctions imposed by Russia, Moscow would not make an exception for one EU country, as its goal is to build relationships of mutual trust and transparency with the whole of Europe.
Following the meeting, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he discussed with Greek PM Alexis Tsipras bilateral cooperation.
“We agree to pay more attention to investments, we discussed cooperation in energy sector,” Russian president said. “We discussed possibility to supply Russian gas to Greece via Turkish Stream.”
According to president Putin, they also discussed cooperation in tourism.
They also talked about Russian-EU relations.
“We assured our Greek colleagues in Russian intention to implement Minsk agreements to settle conflict in Eastern Ukraine,” President Putin added.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that he is grateful to President Putin for new spring in Russian-Greek relations.”We have spring in Russian-Greek relations,” Alexis Tsipras said. “Greece is a sovereign state and will use its geopolitical role as European country. We will use all opportunities to boost cooperation with Russia.”
According to Greek PM, the countries will promote education and culture ties.
He also expressed hope, that Greece may become an energy hub in the European region.
Speaking about sanctions on Russia, PM Tsipras said that European issue is not Greek one. So regarding the complicated economic situation in the world in the recent years Greece has signed several documents on cooperation with Russia.
“That’s why we come here in the first place, to constract the economic ties with Russia,” Alexis Tsipras said. “We do not entirily share the EU stance on economic sanctions against Russia. We will promote new solution based on the dialog.”
Mr.Tsipras also added that Greece “openly dissaproves” of European anti-Russian sanctions, because the EU economic war against Russia could lead to a new Cold War.
Of course sanctions has hit Russian-Greek agriculture cooperation, President Putin said. “But today we’re tried to establish our cooperation regardless the sanctions,” he added.