Russia denies report of gas deal with cash-strapped Greece

Russia denies report of gas deal with cash-strapped Greece
(Image: Reuters, Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Russia denied on Saturday a German media report suggesting that it could sign a gas pipeline deal with Greece as early as Tuesday which could bring up to five billion euros into Athens’ depleted state coffers.

German magazine Der Spiegel, citing a senior figure in Greece’s ruling Syriza party, said the advance funds could “turn the page” for Athens, which is now struggling to reach a deal with its creditors to unlock new loans to avert bankruptcy.

“No, there wasn’t (any agreement),” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, in comments made to Business FM radio and quoted by RIA news agency.

Peskov reiterated that the Greeks had not requested financial assistance during talks in the Kremlin earlier this month between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Russian President Vladimir Putin. …

Under the proposed deal, Greece would receive advance funds from Russia based on expected future profits linked to the pipeline. The Greek energy minister said last week that Athens would repay Moscow after 2019, when the pipeline is expected to start operating.

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