Alexis Tsipras
Alexis Tsipras

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras

There was speculation ahead of Mr Tsipras? visit that he would seek money to alleviate Greece?s debt crisis.

Mr Putin said that Russia would consider loans to Greece for joint infrastructure projects, including a natural gas pipeline.

But analysts say Russia?s own economic woes mean any help would be limited.

Greece?s new government is embroiled in negotiations with the EU and IMF to unblock a bailout package and could run out of funds within weeks.

Russia was among Greece?s leading trade partners before sanctions on its energy industry and Greece?s own economic woes dropped trade between the two countries by 40%.

Mr Putin called for trade relations to be restored to their previous level, and said the two leaders discussed ?various ways of cooperating, including major projects in energy?.

?Under these plans, we could provide loans for certain projects. This is not about aid but about financial cooperation in major projects,? Mr Putin said.

One of those plans is for a pipeline called ?Turkish Stream?, to channel natural gas from the Turkish-Greek border into Greece.

?Restart relations?

Mr Tsipras received a warm welcome in Moscow, which has seen its ties with the EU strained over Russia?s actions in Ukraine.

The Russian president said the two leaders would ?analyse what the two of us could do to restore the previous rate of growth? in trade.

Russia is not in a position to solve Greece?s economic issues however, said Constantinos Filis from the Institute of International Relations.

?Russia is not and cannot be a (EU) substitute for Greece. It can only be a supplementary option,? he said.

Mr Tsipras called for an end to the ?vicious cycle of sanctions? imposed on Russia in response to its intervention in Ukraine.

Repayments due

European Parliament President Martin Schulz had said before Mr Tsipras? visit that he should not break with the EU line on sanctions.

Mr Tsipras came to power pledging to end austerity, but his plans have met resistance from Greece?s EU/IMF creditors, who lent the country billions to help it avoid bankruptcy.

Greece has not received bailout funds since August last year, with the EU and IMF dissatisfied with the pace of Greek reforms.

A Greek repayment of ?448m to the IMF is due this Thursday.

On Tuesday, the Greek government said Germany owed Greece nearly ?279bn (?204bn; $303bn) in war reparations for the Nazi occupation during World War Two.

It is the first time Greece has calculated what Germany allegedly owes.

But Germany says the matter was resolved legally years ago, and reacting to the claim Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said it was ?dumb? to link Greece?s bailout with the question of war reparations.

BBC

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