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    A man picks up a Greek flag placed on a street pole after a military parade in central Athens marking the Greek Independence Day on March 25, 2015

    Russian Companies Ready to Take Part in Greek Privatization - Putin

    © AFP 2018 / ARIS MESSINIS
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    Russian companies are interested in investing in Greece, especially into ports, airports and pipelines, Vladimir Putin said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian companies are ready to take part in privatization of Greece's industries and infrastructure if the privatization conditions are not worse than those other companies would get, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday at a press conference with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

    Putin noted that Russian companies are interested in investing in Greece, especially into ports, airports and pipelines.

    "If the Greek side, the Greek government is ready to carry out the privatization process in its economy, then we are ready to participate in it, and we hope that Russian companies would not be put in a worse position than other participants of this process."

    Russian Railways is currently among those companies vying for the Greek railroad network and the port of Thessaloniki. The company has expressed interest in purchasing both assets simultaneously.

    Over the last few months, however, Greek leadership has sent mixed signals about plans to sell off key national assets. Tsipras' left-leaning Syriza party made a campaign pledge to scrap the privatization program ahead of its victory in the January 25 elections.

    The following month, the country's Finance Ministry said all completed and pending tenders will not be reconsidered as Greece struggles to comply with its international lenders-mandated reforms, necessary for it to receive its next aid package and avoid default.

    The European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund extended hundreds of billions of dollars in bailouts to Athens contingent on its adoption of severe austerity measures. In addition to privatizing government assets, Greece is required to adopt pay cuts, cancel pensions and conduct other structural reforms perceived as unhealthy by the public and the country's anti-austerity leadership.

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    privatization, Russian Railways, Vladimir Putin, Russia, Greece
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