“Tsipras to Meet Putin Over Bailout Loan as Fears of Greek Exit from EU Mount”
The Guardian, June 17, 2015
“Alexis Tsipras will travel to Russia again on Friday to meet Vladimir Putin as questions swirl over whether Moscow could extend credit lines to bail out the Greek prime minister’s embattled economy. … Tsipras will meet Putin on the sidelines of a major economic forum in St Petersburg. The Greek prime minister has been an outspoken critic of EU sanctions against Russia and is seen as one of the Kremlin’s few friends inside the European bloc. … Another possible outcome is that a newly founded development bank for the Brics countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – could ask Greece to join. Athens would pay a token amount to join the new bank and could then receive loans and funding for infrastructure projects. Tsipras has said he will ‘seriously consider’ Russia’s invitation to join the bank, which was clearly made with political rather than economic motives in mind. … But the other Brics nations, which are due to meet at a summit in the Russian city of Ufa next month, may not agree to take Greece on, and analysts say Russia is unlikely to risk such a confrontational move in the immediate future. … [S]imilar discussions had occurred over possible Russian bailouts of Iceland and Cyprus during financial crises but had come to little.”
Quickie analysis: Though Putin will happily take an opportunity to poke the EU in the eye, it’s hard to see this as more than Greece playing chicken with the EU. One hopes.