Amid growing pressure from their 'Troika colleagues' with Eurogroup Chair Dijsselbloem noting there is "still a long way to go" on Greek proposals and The IMF withdrawing its staff in Athens; new prime minister Alexis Tsipras heads to Russia to meet with Putin early next week. As Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov noted - somewhat intriguingly - "Greece has not asked [Russia] for financial aid... yet," as Tsipras is expected to seek agreement for a 'road map' of initiatives on the political and economic levels. Greek default risk has resurged in the last few days to its highest since the last 'restructuring'...
Greek default risk hits post-crisis highs...
With friends like this...
Eurogroup Chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem said there’s a “long way to go” to strike a deal on Greece’s aid proposals even after the Athens government responded to demands for more detail on its bid to end the deadlock.
“It’s continuously improving,” Dijsselbloem told reporters today in the Hague. “They deliver more and more proposals that are more and more detailed. On some parts, we will definitely reach an agreement.”
Spiegel (attention! might be another "Spiegel" denial soon) says that IMF recalls its staff from Athens pic.twitter.com/mFOPrB0jWR— *Russian Market (@russian_market) April 3, 2015
Is it any surprise, Greek PM Tsipras is pivoting to Russia?
- *PUTIN, TSIPRAS TO DISCUSS GREEK ECONOMIC SITUATION: PESKOV
- *PUTIN, TSIPRAS TO DISCUSS EU'S ANTI-RUSSIA SANCTIONS: PESKOV
- *GREECE HASN'T ASKED RUSSIA FOR FINL AID YET, TALKS AHEAD:PESKOV
As ekthimerini reports, the aides of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the Greek and Russian embassies in Moscow and Athens, are feverishly preparing for a scheduled visit by Tsipras to the Russian capital on April 8 and 9 which the Greek government hopes will serve to significantly upgrade bilateral ties.
According to a well-informed source, Tsipras is expected to seek agreement for a “road map” of initiatives on the political and economic levels.
Talks are expected to touch on several topics of bilateral interest, including “commercial and financial cooperation, investments, energy, tourism and cooperation in matters of education and culture,” according to Tsipras’s office. Other topics on the agenda include “the relationship between Russia and the European Union, as well as regional and international issues.”
Tsipras is expected to emphasize Greece’s respect for its commitments as a member of the European Union and NATO on the one hand while underlining his conviction that the European Union’s “security architecture” should include Russia. Amid European concerns about Greece’s position vis-a-vis EU sanctions against Russia, Greek officials have sought to offer reassurances, suggesting that Athens will not actively oppose the EU line. But sources close to Tsipras said the government will continue to express its disagreement with sanctions as a policy.
As for a likely bilateral cooperation in the energy sector, a high-ranking government source told Kathimerini that Greece “will reassure the Russians, not the Westerners.” According to sources, Energy Minister Panayiotis Lafazanis has already agreed in principle to a proposal made by the head of Russian giant Gazprom, Alexey Miller, for a new gas pipeline through Turkey to be extended through Greek territory. The plan foresees the creation of a consortium in which Greece’s Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) would play a key role along with Russian funds and possibly also European clients of Gazprom, Kathimerini understands.
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And irony of ironies, as Greece appears to set to invoke its own capital controls, Cyprus lifts its own capital controls, two years after bailing-in its depositors...
- *CYPRUS TO LIFT LAST CAPITAL CONTROLS ON APRIL 6
- *CONFIDENCE IN CYPRIOT BANKING SYSTEM FULLY RESTORED: GOVT
"While nothing will go wrong with Greece, Cyprus has prepared for all possibilities in order to minimize any effects on its economy"