While experts are expressing their doubts regarding Greece's ability to settle its debts anytime soon, Athens is seeking ways to bring the country back from the brink of economic collapse; the recent move of the Tsipras government aimed at creating the EU gas hub on its territory may provide the country with an unbeatable advantage in the future.
"It's crunch time for Greece. An emergency summit of Eurozone leaders in Brussels Monday will decide whether the heavily-indebted country, run by a left-wing government that refuses to make concessions that cut deeper into living standards, will be granted another financial reprieve or is headed for default and possible exit from the Eurozone," Moscow-based Christian Science Monitor correspondent Fred Weir noted.
Nevertheless, Moscow and Athens have concluded a significant and mutually beneficial agreement, Mr. Weir stressed, referring to a memorandum on extending Russia's Turkish Stream gas pipeline through the territory of Greece inked by Greek Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis and his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak in St. Petersburg.
Remarkably, some Western media outlets emphasize that the Russo-Greek agreement is likely to infuriate those EU countries which are calling to toughen the European sanctions policy against Moscow.
According to Gazprom's plan, the Turkish Stream will be divided into four lines, and one of them will supply Turkey. The Turkish Stream's total capacity is expected to amount to 63 billion cubic meters per year.
Although the deal is unable to solve Greece's current debt crisis, the creation of the EU gas hub on the Greek territory will provide the country with a competitive advantage and a new source of income.
Indeed, Greece has long been considered a Russian ally, since the countries share deep cultural and religious ties. At the same time Athens needs Russia as a trade and business partner.
"Russia couldn't help Greece in its financial negotiations with the Eurozone even if it wanted to. Greece can obtain advantages for itself in energy and other spheres by courting Russia. So why shouldn't it play this card?" said Sergei Zabelin, an expert with the official Institute of European Studies in Moscow, as cited by the journalist.