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Greece poised to sign gas deal with Russia – Spiegel

File photo: Russian President Putin and Greek Prime Minister Tsipras at the Kremlin in Moscow

Greece is poised to sign a gas deal with Russia as early as Tuesday which could bring 3-5 billion euros into depleted government coffers, German magazine Der Spiegel reported, citing a senior figure in the ruling Syriza party.

During a visit to Moscow earlier this month, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras expressed interest in participating in a pipeline that would bring Russian gas to Europe via Turkey and Greece.

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.

Greek government officials were not immediately available to comment on the Spiegel report.

The new government in Greece has been talking with its eurozone partners for months to try to secure aid and avert a default which could push the country out of the single currency bloc. But progress has been slow and Athens has been exploring other sources of funding.

Spiegel, citing the Syriza official, reported that the Russian deal could be signed on Tuesday and yield an advance of between 3 and 5 billion euros. The official was quoted as saying the deal could “turn the page” for Greece.



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