Russian, Greek foreign ministers close ranks | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 11.02.2015
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Russian, Greek foreign ministers close ranks

The foreign ministers of Russia and Greece have both called current Western sanctions against Russia "counter-productive." They also talked about possible financial help from Moscow for the Greek economy.

At a meeting in Moscow Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Greek counterpart, Nikos Kotzias, talked about Western sanctions against Russia over the Kremlin's role in the Ukraine conflict.

Lavrov praised Greece's stance on the matter, saying Athens fully understood how counter-productive their use was in dealing with Russia.

Kotzias added his government had told other EU members the bloc should not see its ties with Russia "through the prism of Ukraine" and should come out with a positive agenda instead.

Greece's new left-wing government has long ruffled feathers in the European Union by taking a much softer stance towards Russia over the conflict in Ukraine.

Russian help to Greece?

At a joint news conference, Lavrov said both sides agreed that there could only be a political solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine which had killed more than 5,000 people.

Kotzias expressed the hope a significant deal would be reached at a crucial summit in Minsk the same day.

On the issue of Greece's debt problems, Lavrov said the Kremlin would consider a request for financial help, if it came from Athens.

The two ministers were also reported to have debated a planned gas pipeline to Turkey across the Black Sea from which Greece could benefit.

hg/sri (Reuters, dpa)

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