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Home / NEWS / Putin heads to Greece: Energy talks, refugee crisis in focus

Putin heads to Greece: Energy talks, refugee crisis in focus

Russian President Vladimir Putin is starting his two-day visit to Greece on Friday even as Eurozone Finance Ministers and the IMF remain divided over the debt relief deal inked earlier this week.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has announced it is not yet ready to join the EU’s new bailout for Greece.

Putin, accompanied by CEO’s of oil and gas giants Rosneft and Gazprom, will hold talks with Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. He will also visit Mount Athos.

“Both sides are placing a high priority on the visit as both of them hope the upcoming talks and contacts will help enhance cooperation in all areas,” Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov said ahead of Putin’s visit.

Putin-Tsipras talks are expected to focus on boosting energy ties.

Ushakov claimed Athens “still favors reviving South Stream in one form or another”.

“Currently the work on projected gas supplies from Russia to Greece and Italy via third countries is on, meaning that the pipeline will cross the Black Sea and will run through one of coastal countries, probably Bulgaria further on to Greece and Italy,” he said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky, Energy Minister Alexander Novak, apart from Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, are also headed to Greece with Putin.

The talks are expected to be followed by signing of around eight agreements, including an inter-governmental declaration on partnership and an agreement between Rosneft and Greece’s Hellenic Petrol?um on supplies of oil and oil products to Greece.

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