Greek PM ruffles EU feathers with trip to Moscow for Putin meeting

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is to meet Kremlin strongman Vladimir Putin in Moscow today. The two-day trip comes as Tsipras is battling to unblock a rescue package from the EU and IMF, fuelling EU fears he may barter financial support from Moscow for political backing over the Ukraine crisis. But analysts say that while the visit might see Moscow lift an embargo on Greek fruit, overall it is more about political grandstanding aimed at pressuring Europe rather than a serious shift in policy.

Greece knows what to do within the EU framework but every country also has the sovereign right to look after and improve its bilateral relations.

European Parliament President Martin Schulz

Ahead of the trip, Tsipras also rattled the EU’s already shaky stance over Ukraine by lashing out at Western sanctions against Moscow as “a road to nowhere”. The Greek premier, a former Communist who came to power in January, took part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin ahead of his sit-down with Putin. Germany on Tuesday angrily labelled a call by Athens for more than 278 billion euros ($306 billion) in WWII reparations as “dumb”.