Tsipras from Moscow: We're looking ahead, leaving behind case of diplomats' expulsion

Friday, 07 December 2018 19:14
UPD:19:16
REUTERS/MAXIM SHEMETOV

The Greek and Russian leaders attempted to put last summer's diplomatic standoff behind them on Friday, with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras saying Athens wants to "look forward, the case is closed", speaking with Vladimir Putin standing next to him at a Kremlin joint press conference.

He was referring to the expulsion of two Russian diplomats, and Moscow's retaliation, while nevertheless adding that "from the beginning we did not agree on the basis over which these expulsions were made."

"A rainy day during the summer does not mean that summer never existed, or that fair weather is not before us," he added.

Asked by a reporter, Putin dismissed the notion of Russian meddling in Greek affairs by the diplomats, referring to "nonsense".

With only general statements regarding bilateral economic ties and direct investments, namely, in the energy sector, but without details, Tsipras' visit to Moscow was viewed as aiming to repair bilateral relations with an important trade partner and prospective investor in the east Mediterranean country.

In bid to point to his government's more Russia-friendly attitude, he reminded that Athens objected an EU position advocating the mass expulsions of Russian diplomats due to the Skripal case.

"Greece can be an EU and NATO member, but at the same time promote a model of multilateral foreign policy,"

Asked about energy pipelines, he said his government was in favor of a diversification of sources and routes, saying there should not be "double standards" on the part of the EU.

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