MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Wednesday.
The sides are expected to discuss Russian gas supplies to the European country, as well as other regional issues.
Last week, Greek Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis after a meeting with his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak and Russian energy giant Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said that Athens had asked for a cut in the price it pays for Russian natural gas.
Lafazanis also expressed his support for Russia's planned Turkish stream pipeline project, expressing support for the idea of extending the gas route to Greece.
Athens also hopes Moscow will lift its embargo on Greek food, which was imposed on all countries within the European Union, after sanctions were introduced by the EU against Russia over its alleged role in the Ukrainian crisis. Tsipras repeatedly expressed disappointment over the Western anti-Russia sanctions, saying that the measures are ineffective.
The state visit comes as Greece struggles to repay its loans to its international creditors. Greece's debt to the troika of creditors that includes the IMF, the European Union and the European Central Bank (ECB), is estimated at some $270 billion. The country must repay $22.5 billion in interest this year.
The creditors insist on Greece reforming its economy with the bailout deal set to expire in late June.