Russian Pivot: Greek PM Schedules Putin Meeting Ahead Of "Lehman Weekend"

Tyler Durden's picture

Earlier this month, we reported that Greece is prepared to sign an MOU of political support for Gazprom’s Turkish Stream Pipeline, when Alexis Tsipras visits St. Petersburg for the International Economic Forum this week. 

The deal is a blow to Washington, which attempted to persuade Athens to support an alternative pipeline. In April, US State Department envoy Amos Hochstein met with Greek foreign minister Nikos Kotzia to pitch The Southern Gas Corridor, a project which, when complete, will  allow the EU to tap into Caspian gas via a series of connecting pipelines running from Azerbaijan to Italy. The corridor is aimed at breaking Gazprom’s stranglehold in Europe. 

(Turkish Stream)

(Southern Gas Corridor)

Greece, defiant in the face of US pressure and no doubt intent on preserving the last bit of leverage it has in negotiations with European creditors, contended that it did not view the two pipelines as competitors and would pursue participation in both projects. Greece will not, Greek Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis said, be swayed by pressure from The White House:

“We do not considered them to be rivals. On the contrary, we think they both contribute to energy supply of European countries.That’s why it is odd that the Russian project is raising concern and doubts in the US and the European Union. We will not submit to the interests and wishes of any third country. Greece is nobody’s property. We move based on the interests of our people and our national interests. The country must become a development hub for Europe’s energy supply."

Since then, the situation between Greece and its creditors has deteriorated meaningfully. Athens is now reportedly set to delay a June 30 IMF payment for six months and faces the imposition of capital controls over what could end up being a “Lehman Weekend.” With his back against the wall, and with Syriza party hardliners apparently no closer to backing concessions, Tsipras looks set to once again play the ‘Russian pivot” card because as Kathimerini reports, a “working meeting” between the Greek PM and Russian President Vladimir Putin is now scheduled for Friday in St. Petersburg:

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is due to travel to Saint Petersburg on Friday to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the state-run Athens-Macedonian News Agency (AMNA) quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying on Tuesday.


"A working meeting has been scheduled with Alexis Tsipras on Friday, July 19, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum," Peskov was quoted as saying.


The Kremlin spokesman did not reveal what the two men would be talking about.

If we had to venture a guess, the two leaders will be talking about options for Russian aid in the event the relationship between Athens and Brussels continues to deteriorate in the coming weeks.

There are a number of possibilities, including a multibillion euro advance on Greece’s Turkish Stream revenue and the arrangement of a loan from the BRICS bank. Note that this is a perfect time for Greece to explore the BRICS option. As we've noted on serveral occasions, Russia has invited Greece to join and reports indicate Athens could be eligible for a loan immediately and would be allowed to tender its paid in capital in installments to ease the financial burden of joining. Further, Russia will host this year's BRICS summit in Ulfa on July 8-9 where the $100 billion bank will officially be launched along with a $100 billion currency reserve, meaning Greece could serve as a kind of pilot project for the new fund.

All of the above serve to underscore Angela Merkel's insistence on going to extra mile to keep Greece in the euro even in the face of staunch opposition both from lawmakers and from the German finance ministry. In short, the Chancellor fears the geopolitical ramifications of a Grexit could, in the long run, prove more detrimental than the economic consequences, especially considering the situation in Ukraine. 

*  *  *

Summing up the above in one picture...

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
richsob's picture

I seriously doubt Putin is stupid enough to start pouring good money into a hopeless cause like Greece.  I don't like you, Vladimir, but I do respect your intelligence.

agent default's picture

He will let them burn to the ground in the Euro first.  When the Greeks finally and quite violently decide enough is enough with the EU paper game, he will show up and buy them out on the cheap.

Bobbo's picture

If the Chinese don't bid. 

Bobbo's picture

Um.  Quite right!  Then, could China attempt to just "buy in" with their famous "aid".  Hard to see clearly.

NoDebt's picture

Does this man Putin ever sleep?  

He's beating the stuffing out of all the big boys even though he's starting with fewer chess pieces on the board and from an inferior position.  

This meeting's a solid kick right to the EU's sack.  You KNOW that's gotta hurt.

Latina Lover's picture

Russia's position, backstopped by China and other BRICS, is solid.  Despite the  USSA's best shots, Russia has resisted sanctions, currency attacks, color revolutions and  the crash in oil prices, all in the space of less than 2 years.   The USSA has done everything it can so far to destroy Russia, and  has failed.  In fact, while hurt in the short term, Russia's economy will do much better in the future with the ejection of the fifth column liberals from the political process, and much needed economic reforms, such as reviving the agricultural sector. 

Moreover, with the re integration of Crimea into Russia, her military position is much stronger in the Black Sea.

Plus, the constant MSM propaganda attacks upon Putin only maintain and/or increase his popularity.

11b40's picture

We see this the same.

A couple of old cliches come to mind.

First for the U.S. - Never start a fight you can't win.

Second, for Russia - That which does not kill me make me stronger.

It is almost like our strategic planners don't have world maps and never studied world history.

Latina Lover's picture

Neocon's love their Chaos, so  from that perspective, the USSA state department hit a grandslam.


Victoria "fuck the EU"  Nudelman gambled that overthrowing the Ukie government would deliver the entire country into the USSA's pocket without a fight.  Clearly events have proved her wrong, and as her reward for failure, she will likely become Hitlery's secretary of state.


BaBaBouy's picture

Like We Said Months Ago, Russia "Back-Dooring" Into EU Via Greece...

Lore's picture

Any danger of bombs, errant runway snowblowers, buk missiles, mystery pursuit planes or UFO abduction en route to St. Petersburg? 

Addendum: Interesting that this post gets downvoted, in light of recent events!

HolyfieldsOtherEar's picture

The MIC's dictum:


Order$ Out of Chao$

SilvertonguedAngel's picture

The EU hasn't got a sac. It was born a Eunuch.

Volkodav's picture

Not a man...  Putin Administration is complete team

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

The Western Globalists and Banksters have screwed over the PIGS enough, that they've the EU's soft underbelly.

With the Blueline going through Turkey and Greece, it can go from there to (a) Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary, Austria, and/or (b) to Italy.  This would also allow for a short (low-cost) branch-off to Bulgaria.

Soros and fellow oligarchs must be shitting his pants.  Of course, there are other ones, who could not be happier if things played out this way.  Ah, the soap-opera battles of the idle mega-rich.

Antifaschistische's picture

if I were message would be.   Hey Greece...if you default on 100% of your Euro Debt I will cover your public pension shortfalls for the next 10 years.

Yes, it will cost Russia....and it will destroy the EU and the European Banking System.

bbq on whitehouse lawn's picture

Putin is offering an even better deal, but none of this matters because the Germans will not allow Greece to leave the Euro. The politicians are just play games that anyone can see right through.
German politicians are just trying to not get kicked out of office. The Greek politicans are just making a show as well, as if they would ever allow Russia to have a spy in Nato and Veto vote in Brussiels.

angel_of_joy's picture

In order for the Germans to "not allow Greece to leave the Euro", they'll have to accept a default on Greek debt wich will very much cost their beloved banks (Douche Bank, anybody ?) and ECB big money. That's the reality, no matter how they'll try to spin it...

TungstenBars's picture

As long as the pipeline is built they will get their money and then some, plus a huge power and control move. The real problem will be building it in time, as the us will try anything including a coup and murders to stop it being completed. NATO fears this pipeline, thus would claim in its media that Russia is silly for working with greece and vice versa

Freddie's picture

Pipelines and the Silk Road make the US Navy obsolete.  The USA is Trayvoneville and Kaitlan Jennerville.  Dumb whites cheering Trayvons with thug ball and NCAA like fools.  I know some military and they follow college thug ball like dumb sheep.

TV and Hollywood is for idiot serfs.

Latina Lover's picture

Problem for the EU, TungstenBars, is that they need Russian Gas, unless they are willing to pay 3X for USSA LNG.  NATO, which is just another USSA tool, is the means to enslave the europeans to support the USSA MIC.

ZH Snob's picture

the decision to go to russia was made a long time ago.  the greeks have just been buying time, playing with troika.  and they didn't mind participating in this charade either: it gave them more time too.  more time to back up the derivative exposure of an inevitable grexit.  that would explain the douche bank resignations.  someone had to fall on their sword over this debacle.

stewie's picture

Humm, intersting but all this sounds llike pure conjecture?

ZH Snob's picture

it is, stewie, it is.  they don't let me in on all their little secrets, but sometimes a blind horse can smell a carrot.

thurstjo63's picture

I guess you have failed to realise that Greece will be paid transit fees from letting the pipeline travel through its country. Those fees will be used to pay off the advance.

NoVa's picture

probably not.

Greece will get upfront pipeline deal money plus transit fees when the product starts flowing through.

GR will keep all of those funds sovereign, after defaulting or snubbing the EU.


SheepDog-One's picture

Good, go with Russia I don't give a fact I think it would be hilarious!!

Outlaw_Rambler's picture

So what's so funny about that? They should have done so a long long time ago

Freddie's picture

The Russians and Greeks are Orthodox Christians.  They know the people ensalving Greece and who are trying to destroy Russia and Putin are NOT Christians.

Rehab Willie's picture

I see Russian warships docking in Greek ports in your future.

Augustus's picture

Just what the Greeks need.  first the docking warships, then the "annexation."


Two communist screwups getting together to discuss how they can convince the population that being ruled by fools is a "good thing."

farflungstar's picture

Your analysis is stuck somewhere between 1980's Cold War and 21st century wishful thinking, mostly inspired by "hope" and "change" to see things not as they are, but how TPTB (and their minions) wish them to be, and wish we would see them. If you think Putin is a fool, I'd hate to see what you think of spineless puppets like Poroshenko and that German twat, and the feckless French fag, the closet fudgepacker Obama, the paper tough guy Abbot, or pie-faced Cameron. 

Yats needs to put on his kneepads and start sucking, his country is toilet-bound.


SilvertonguedAngel's picture

This IS just what the Greeks need as the alternative means perpetual debt slavery for ALL Greeks.


Going quickly from austerity and perpetual debt slavery to being an Energy powerhouse won't take any selling,

youngman's picture

I agree..Putin is not going to throw money at Greece....just play with them to piss off the West..

SheepDog-One's picture

'Money' is meaningles....think 'ports'.

TeethVillage88s's picture

Yes Ports are Profit Centers.

China & Russia might be thinking more like Capitalists than the west these days.

I love it. The Greek Admin is playing the game the right way. It is a game of Power in the End.

Pipelines, Terminals, Ports, Cargo handling Capacity, Ship handling Capacity, Liquid Transport Capacity, Rail Capacity... Then maybe there is a percentage for other countries for overland passage.

Augustus's picture

Greece already has ports.  They are the most inefficient in europe.  Limited rail access, and determined to stay that way.

Ruskies don't know crap about port operations.


This is just two broke bastards having a discussion about how to float their bad checks.

11b40's picture

You need to take that BS elsewhere.  Greece may be broke and Russia may be struggling, but the U.S. and the rest of the G-7 are living on nothing but credit.  Russia is rich in resources and strategically placed to capitalize on them going forward.  Plus, their "friends" are ascending, as ours crumble and we piss away the tresure we have left while our domestic vultures pick our carcass.

Here is what one of their "friends", and our biggest creditor, thinks:

angel_of_joy's picture

Ran out of potatoes again ?

11b40's picture

Ports, pipelines, a NATO member in his back pocket (veto power), and more. It is a very big deal, and the Eurocrats seem to have let ego & arrogance cloud their thinking.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Aha!  Now you're cooking with water.

Ports are a win-win-win scenario for Greece (with all its ships and shipping billionaries), for Russia (naval port), and for China (commercial port).

Would look good on that Consensus1-at-all-Cost ("blöde Kuh") Merkel.


1 Sometimes Consensus isn't consensus at all, but a pure capitulation to the Alpha Dog. "Spiel Hündchen", Merkel.

bfellow's picture

Greece is just a cheap pawn in a geo-political chess match. I agree that Putin is there to piss off the West. But the long game has always been to sell more NatGas to Europe, giving Russia the ability to control the light switches. I'm sure some "strategist" at the Pentagon is scratching his head as Putin works to prop up Damascus against $1 billion in CIA funds backing "moderate rebels" in Syria, blocking the last hop in the creation of a Qatari NatGas pipeline. All the while Putin distracts and divides with the Ukraine and the former Soviet bloc states where the US is placing a handful of Abrams, which were just trumped by Putin with 40 new ICBMs this year alone. Brinksmanship at its finest.

Outlaw_Rambler's picture

Did  it ever occur to you that it's not about pissing off the west or flipping light switches but it's rather about a real and mutually beneficial cooperation? Is is so hard to wrap your mind around that idea? Is that so wrong for both Russia and Greece to get their piece of a pie?

Solarman's picture

LOL, that would be the first time.  Ever negotiate with the Russians?

Outlaw_Rambler's picture

i did as a matter of fact, and what about you? Care to share your experience with me?

Volkodav's picture

Some..My experience is Ag

My Lady is Volga regions arbitration Lawyer


Volkodav's picture

ever know what you talk about?