Greece Begins The Great Pivot Toward Russia

Tyler Durden's picture

Ten days ago, before the smashing success of Greece's anti-austerity party, Syriza, we noted that Russia gave Greece a modest proposal: turn your back on Europe, whom you despise so much anyway, and we will assist your farmers by lifting the food import ban.

And, sure enough, Greece's new premier Tsipras did hint with his initial actions that Greece may indeed pivot quite aggressively away from Europe and toward Russia in general and the Eurasian Economic Union in particular (as a tangent recall "Russia's "Startling" Proposal To Europe: Dump The US, Join The Eurasian Economic Union").

Some recent examples of this dramatic shift in perspective were the following:

Today we got further evidence that Tsipras will substantially realign his country's national interest away from the west and toward... the east.

First, as Reuters reported, today the new premier halted the "blue light special" liquidation of Greece to those highest bidders who have the closest access to various printing presses and stopped the privatization of Greece's biggest port on Tuesday, "signaling he aims to stick to election pledges despite warning shots from the euro zone and financial markets."

One of the first decisions announced by the new government was stopping the planned sale of a 67 percent stake in the Piraeus Port Authority, agreed under its international bailout deal for which China's Cosco Group and four other suitors had been shortlisted.


"The Cosco deal will be reviewed to the benefit of the Greek people," Thodoris Dritsas, the deputy minister in charge of the shipping portfolio, told Reuters.

Europe, for one, will be most displeased that Greece has decided to put its people first in the chain of priority over offshore bidders of Greek assets. Most displeased, especially since the liquidation sale of Greece is part of the Greek bailout agreement: an agreement which as the Troika has repeatedly stated, is not up for renegotiation.

Syriza had announced before the election it would halt the sale of state assets, a plank of the 240 billion-euro bailout agreement. Stakes in the port of Thessaloniki, the country's second biggest, along with railway operator Trainose and rolling stock operator ROSCO are also slated to be sold.

And it wasn't just this open act of defiance that marked the new government's anti-European agenda:

In a separate step, the deputy minister in charge of administrative reform, George Katrougkalos said the government would reverse some layoffs of public sector workers, rolling back another key bailout measure. "It will be one of the first pieces of legislation that I will bring in as a minister," he told Mega TV.

The Germans were not happy: A German central banker warned of dire problems should the new government call the country's aid program into question, jeopardizing funding for the banks. "That would have fatal consequences for Greece’s financial system. Greek banks would then lose their access to central bank money," Bundesbank board member Joachim Nagel told Handelsblatt newspaper.

Well, maybe.... Unless of course Greece finds a new, alternative source of funding, one that has nothing to do with the establishmentarian IMF, whose "bailouts" are merely a smokescreen to implement pro-western policies and to allow the rapid liquidation of any "bailed out" society.

An alternative such as the BRIC Bank for example. Recall that the "BRICS Announce $100 Billion Reserve To Bypass Fed, Developed World Central Banks."

And yes, the BRIC are going through their own share of pain right now as a result of plunging crude prices, but remember: crude is only low as long as the US shale sector is still vibrant. Once this marginal producer of crude with a $80 cost-breakeven is out of the picture, watch as Saudi Arabia tightens the spigots and Crude surges to $100, $150 or more. The question is whether Saudi FX reserves can outlast the Fed's ZIRP, which is the only reason - think idiots junk bond investors desperate for any ounce of yield - why the bulk of unprofitable and cash flow-bleeding US shale can still operate with WTI at $45.

Which naturally means that now Russia (and China) are set to become critical allies for Greece, which would immediately explain the logical pivot toward Moscow.

But wait, there's more.

As Bloomberg further reports, "Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias is due in Brussels on Thursday to discuss possible additional sanctions on Russia over the conflict in Ukraine. Before the cabinet even meets for the first time tomorrow, the Greek government said that it disagreed with an EU statement in which President Donald Tusk raised the prospect of “further restrictive measures” on Russia."

The punchline:

In recent months, Kotzias wrote on Twitter that sanctions against Russia weren’t in Greece’s interests. He said in a blog that a new foreign policy for Greece should be focused on stopping the ongoing transformation of the EU “into an idiosyncratic empire, under the rule of Germany.”

And when it comes to the natural adversary of any German imperial ambitions in recent history, Europe has been able to produce only one answer...

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czarangelus's picture

And here we all thought the Greeks were lazy - they certainly beat Spain or Italy to it.

Of course, we've all been humiliated by Iceland.

johngaltfla's picture

And for good reason besides historical ties. NATO, the NWO, the Fed, Soros, Bank of England, ECB, etc. are getting their asses kicked:


01.27 Debaltseve Salient & Donbas War Update: Pro-Russian Forces Intensify the Siege (Video)

y3maxx's picture

...Cuba becomes the next American State.

...Canada becomes the next American State.

Which one happens first?

Save_America1st's picture

Not a shocker.  I asked this the other day on another thread when I brought up the aspect of Russia and China possibly moving in to protect Greece via the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.


Will Russia and China extend protection to Greece?  They may try to bring them into the BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Oranization as an "obersever" country.  This might be a huge "coupe" for the SCO/BRICS.

Just you watch, wait and see.  Ya never fucking know at this point.  Anything is fucking possible now.  It's seriously game on now that there's a massive move world-wide to extricate itself from King Petro-Dollar.

Who will win the Currency Wars???

I think phyzz stackers will always win in the end.  As long as they also stack guns, ammo and other essential supplies.  :-)

Publicus's picture

Greece will be offered Ruble/Yuan swap with Drachma.

Manthong's picture


“sanctions against Russia weren’t in Greece’s interests” 

..or in Spain’s interests 

..or in Italy’s interests

..or in Hungary’s interests

..or in Romania’s interests

..or in Bulgaria’s interests

etc.. etc.. etc..



ZerOhead's picture

That new Russian warm water port on the Black sea is going to come in real handy when EU/NATO attempt to isolate Greece by closing it's road access to europe...

Manthong's picture


Since before Catherine the Great.  :-)

MontgomeryScott's picture

Ever since 'Operation Gladio', Greece has been in the sway of the totalitarian/soft socialist manipulators (NAME the poison of your choosing; including the 'multinational corporatist banks').

Here's the South Koreans in a classic clip giving themselves to the bankster interests that held the MOST sway (back in 2006):

The Greeks simply want MOAR FREE SHIT (in the form of totalitarian socialist mafia welfare cradle-to-grave benefits; or ELSE)

Obama (may PEAS be upon His name) isn't delivering any more, so Vlad (the 'impaler') is the NEXT BEST CHOICE.

One country. One leader. One WORLD! ANYTHING to keep the WELFARE PAYMENTS flowing!

'Sing me a song; you're a singer... (aren't you?)':

Yeah. THIS fact will get a RISE out of the ZH community!

godiva chocolate's picture

The Fed, IMF, Bankers who loaned Greece the entitlement money don't work for their free stuff either.  So I can't side with one freeloader over another.  Neither side works for what they have.  At least the Greeek farmers want to work and trade goods.

old naughty's picture

uncertain about Cuba yet...but,
US-Canada may yet have something "bigger?" hidden.
Check out the clock in the parliament tower on CAD20 bill (use a magnifier)

macholatte's picture



Greece = Cuba

Tsipras= Castro


How did I know???


Bra ha ha ha !!!


I am Fidel Castro and we have come to liberate Cuba.

Fidel Castro

If you believe in justice, if you believe in democracy, if you believe in people's rights, if you believe in the harmony of all humankind - then you have no choice but to back Fidel Castro as long as it takes!

Harry Belafonte

Grimaldus's picture

Fuck castro and his tyranny.

How ironic I have a rack grade Greek return M1 Garand that probably shot a bunch of communists in it's lifetime. Just sayin.

Oh and a big pile of greek surplus 30-06 and Korean surplus 30-06 that had been destined for commies and didn't quite make it.

What ever the greeks want to do is their business.


keepmydollar's picture

Yes they want to trade, they just don't want to pay their taxes which is why the government is broke in the first place.

Bananamerican's picture

which came 1st?

The tax dodger or the .gov worth dodging?

GoldSilverBitcoinBug's picture

The true question is: How you can not be a tax dodger in a socialist paradise !?

nmewn's picture

Maybe the Greek government should lower its tax rates along with the number of things it chooses to tax, thereby bringing its books into balance.

I know, I know, thats some real never before heard of out-of-the-box thinking right there ;-)

Ghordius's picture

nmewn, excellent thinking out of the box. though nearly all Eastern European countries - including Russia - had the same idea. a low, flat tax

and... it works. to put it more simply, they did not want the waste inherent in the effort of building up a huge, complicated tax code. they did not think they would be able to afford this kind of waste

Max Steel's picture

Must watch indeed. The US-led coup in Ukraine was cooked up for years with the help of US embassy and already in 2013 some people knew about this and knew that 'civil war' was also prepared.

nmewn's picture

My thoughts on government and taxation have never changed, if a society chooses to have these things, they should be small so they don't become an impediment to that society. It needs to be simple, uncomplicated, as complexity breeds the desire to avoid it on the one hand (the people) and buffer/mitigate the damage created by its intricacies (the state) on the other.

I guess its why people don't understand me when I say "I offer you tax credits!" mocking our Dear Leader here.

Its not that I want people to pay more, its that the state should have never had it to begin with and is now offering it back to you if you do X like a good little serf.

shovelhead's picture

You have to admit it's a hell of a scam to pull off. The 'conditional' payments of the people's own money. Who let them get away with this carnival of horror?

I'm going with The Citizen's Committee for Naps and Recreation.

I never blame a thief for thieving. It's what he does. It's his job. Our job is to chop a few hands off so the word goes around and, in that respect, we have pretty much screwed the pooch.

Paveway IV's picture

Hand-chopping is overrated and frankly rather dangerous with the kicking and screaming and all. 

I'm sticking with feet-first into the woodchipper. Slow enough that even the woodchipper feels bad about it.

GoldSilverBitcoinBug's picture

+1 for the Flat Tax.

Progressive taxes will always lead to massive tax evasion, then middle class get crushed with  higher rate since the wealthy flee away.

And will not be different in the Greek case.

In fact tax should be capped by constitution.

I'm astonished that no constitution in the world doesn't have a maximum rate in them (that would be real progress here), always vague terms like: "the government can take tax proportional to the living condition of the citizen."

Who define that "living condition". What's your fair share tax ? Who decide that ?

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

greece, could bring back secret bank accounts, which by law could not be reported to any taxing agency of other nations. make it rock solid, pay real rates of interest not our current zirp in the west.

give citizen status to those wealthy enough to provide x amount of assets and provide low taxation of these funds.

the swiss have plenty of expirenced bankers with little to do lately. to lend a hand.

if you are going to piss on the EU why not piss on IRS and go for it?

Greece think big.

petkovplamen's picture

You REALLY DON'T have ANY idea what you are talkin' 'bout and you re mixing your terms so bad, it's embarrassing. Greece has had at least 3 military coups from 1940s to 1980s when it was about to turn left; the military stepped in each time and prevented that to happen. Last time was in the mid 1960s.I know it cuz my mother was there and witnessed the riots in the early 1970s first hand.

Totalitarian has nothing to do with the real communist/socialist. 

Exactly the same thing happened in Chile with Aliende and it happened over and over in Italy. Aldo Moro was assassinated in Italy in mid 1970s when he wanted to include the Communist party in the coalition. 

Manthong's picture


I’m sure YOU know that warm water port is not new, but most American plebes think Russia invaded Crimea and conquered Sevastopol just this last March.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Well it is newly reacquired by Russia....if acquired is the proper term.

Manthong's picture

Possession is 9/10 of the law..

They only didn't have it in custom after Khrushchev (Uke native) handed it over for administration to the Soviet State of Ukraine in 1956. 

They did not get it back officially after the USSR dissolved, but Russia has always had it and ended up making lease payments until the US and Uke Nazis took over in Kiev.

In the confusion after the coup, the Crimean’s seized the moment and seceded (most certainly with a little help from the north).. Russia seized the moment and annexed Crimea.

Victoria Nuland and US State ended up with you know what on their face because one of the objectives of State was to deny Russia ita historical warm water port.

How F'n arrogant and clueless is that?

The US/State and Kiev Nazis won't get Crimea, Sevastopol or Donbass, but they do have a nice genocide and ethnic cleansing attempt on their report card and they will get even more so embarrassed.

Manthong's picture


The Crimeans had their civic structure and  pensions etc picked up by Russia.

Western Ukraine.. they are with the EU/US and are therefore screwed.

Eastern Ukraine,, well, if they succeed in their quest for self-determination and freedom from the tyranny and oppression of Kiev and their western sponsors, at least they have hope to rebuild their shattered homeland.

ZerOhead's picture

It will be difficult since the industrial base was obsolete to begin with but still better than the rest of the country. Plus they have gas.

Manthong's picture

If they (and we) are still around in 10 years, they will have the best, most modern infrastructure..

And somehow I don’t believe US contractors will have many business opportunities in the rebuilding.


Phuk u's picture


A pro-Ukrainian piece on the Crimea. Would be grateful for your comments.

Manthong's picture

And just a bit more to consider..

The west will never take Eastern Ukraine.

The stakes are way too high and it will not be allowed.

Maybe it’s a Stalingrad thing.


Phuk u's picture


I'm not going to hide my views on Ukraine, Putin or Crimea and I would

of wished that Ukraine could of stood on its own feet without the West or

East interfering. A bit difficult if you are a large 'Buffer' zone with a warm

sea port with the Russian navy in place. Disagree with your point of Crimea always

being Russian prior to the 1917 revolution, ask the Tatar and Ukrainian population

there at present whether they consider themselves russian.


I also hanker for the truth, that at least is something we can agree on.

shovelhead's picture

I guess you could argue with Catherine the Great who placed Crimea firmly in the hands of Russia in 1783.

Lets just hope you don't meet up with her too soon.

fleur de lis's picture

Could you imagine Catherine the Great in the same room with Nuland? She would shoot Vicky out of a cannon.

Manthong's picture

Cage match..

She's have Noodleman for breakfast and Hillary for lunch.

Phuk u's picture

Is that a threat Shovel ?

chinoslims's picture

Agree with manthong.  Russia invading Crimea is like seeing a headline tomorrow of "US INVADES CUBA AND OCCUPIES GITMO".  Crimea like Gitmo is under lease from Ukraine.  American media thinks all Americans can be fooled.  Unfortunately, there atre still too many fall for the bullshit.  We thinking who understand history are doomed

Manthong's picture

..please keep in mind that Crimea was Russian even before JP Morgan and Jacob Schiff funded the Communist revolution.

read and heed...  another fang of the Creature From Jekyll Island



Fun Facts's picture

"Greece Begins The Great Pivot Toward Russia"

"Greece Begins the Great Pivot away from ZWO Global Financial Oligarchy Enslavement"


pot_and_kettle's picture

Turkey, being the blood-soaked whore that she is, will play a great role in that drama.

Look for her to back-stab Russia, followed by Russian missiles lighting up the turkish night.

edotabin's picture

Improbable but not entirely impossible.

BigJim's picture

 Turkey, being the blood-soaked whore that she is

They're all blood-soaked whores.

winchester's picture
winchester (not verified) ZerOhead Jan 28, 2015 4:34 AM

That new Russian warm water port on the Black sea is going to come in real handy when EU/NATO attempt to isolate Greece by closing it's road access to europe


stop  drinking you speak too much shit per minute, idiot...

you think EU will let  a member go out to open gates of the 10-20 separatists movement all over europ ? you fucking morron.

this never gonna happen, and not a single country in eu is allow to make any deal with another block without EU consent.... greece is just  a fart in the theater.

if they yell too much, no money, in the 30 days they are in insolvency, you understand nothing to nothing.

russia embargo over europ for agricultural goods INCLUDE GREECE,  you stupid...

Max Steel's picture

if they leave EU then it's possible . 

It means europeans are sending mercenaries with EU consent in Ukraine ? 

frenzic's picture

Who are you calling stupid, stupid?

Remember when Russia stated around januari 16 (not two weeks ago) they would lift their embargo on Hellenic agricultural products if Greece would leave the EU? Guess you don't.

In other news: never say never. I know there are many sides and players to this particular story but the ones performing the heist sure as hell have not had their way yet apart from a little fleecing here and there and the snatching of some prime real estate while at the moment there is at least a chance they won't ever succeed.

The Troika is threatening to cut the access to fresh loans (ie funding) while pushing Russia out of Swift. This is resulting in competing western and BRIC financial systems in which case the stick used to punish entities that do not comply with the Troika's wishes suddenly changes into a harmless little twig.

There will be two (funding) carrots being dangled and one of them does not entail giving your shirt to the oppressor. Guess which one will look like a wise choice.

The EU has nothing but big scary words, they won't be able to get way with going to war in Europe proper.

BigJim's picture

Hmmm. I wonder. Greece is a giant socialist clusterfuck. I imagine Russia would like to resume trade with them - they grow nice food - but bail them out?

If Greece were to quit the EU in favour of of Russia, now that their banks are part of the EZ it would be chaos.

I suspect most of this is posturing by Tsiparas to secure a better deal from the eurocrats. And Russia is making these offers to stir up division in Europe, which has become a Vichy regime for the US thanks to the Angloquisling Eurocrats.

If the Troika won't bend, then it'll be game on; if Greece were to resurrect the drachma, it could then exit the EU (relatively) easily.

Interesting times for those of us who are paying attention.

fleur de lis's picture

Joining Russia would be financially smart and culturally compatible. The sooner the better before the EU/NATO/IMF etc., weenies decide their next move.