11:37 GMT21 June 2021
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    Greece's Gordian Knot: Syriza Tackles Austerity (404)
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    Following the Greek parliamentary election in January, which was won by Alexis Tsipras' left-wing Syriza party, the country's new coalition government has taken a pro-Russian stance.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — Greece's closer ties with Russia do not mean that the debt-ridden country is moving away from the European Union, European Commission spokesperson Mina Andreeva said Wednesday.

    Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is expected to visit Russia on April 8 for a possible meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    "It is clear that Russia is not an alternative for Greece. Greece's place is in the Eurozone, and we do not need to worry. So I think we have also seen that Mr. Tsipras has given profound attention to his contacts with Europe, European leaders, the European Commission," Andreeva told journalists.

    Following the Greek parliamentary election in January, which was won by Tsipras' left-wing Syriza party, the country's new coalition government has taken a pro-Russian stance.

    Tsipras has called for the economic sanctions, imposed on Moscow by the European Union, to be lifted, as Greece wants Russia to resume import of their agricultural products, embargoed by Russia in August 2014 in a retaliation move.

    Greece also looks to deepen energy cooperation between the two countries, with the proposed Turkish Stream pipeline set to carry Russian gas across Greece.

    In contrast, the relations between Greece and the European Union were strained after the newly-elected Prime Minister said Greece could abandon austerity obligations imposed upon Athens by the troika of international creditors, including the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

    The country's national debt stands at around $270 billion, and the troika of creditors demand that Greece reform its economy with the bailout deal set to expire in late June.

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    Greece's Gordian Knot: Syriza Tackles Austerity (404)

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    Tags:
    austerity measures, sanctions, Eurozone, Syriza, European Commission, Alexis Tsipras, Mina Andreeva, Russia, Greece
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