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Russia's Gazprom Chief to Travel to Greece for Energy Talks With Tsipras

Gazprom chief Alexei Miller.

The head of Russian gas giant Gazprom Alexei Miller will be in Athens on Tuesday for talks with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the country's energy minister, the Energy Ministry said Monday.

They are due to discuss "current energy issues of interest," the ministry said in a statement.

Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kuprianov confirmed Miller's visit but declined to comment on the agenda.

During talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow this month, Tsipras expressed interest in Greece's participation in a pipeline that would carry Russian gas to Europe via its territory.

The two sides were expected to discuss the issue of the pipeline, a government official said on condition of anonymity.

Shut out from international markets and with EU/IMF bailout aid frozen, cash-strapped Greece has said it expected to clinch a deal with Russia to take part in the "Turkish Stream" pipeline soon.

Russia was considering giving Greece advance funds for the project based on future profits it could earn from the pipeline's operation. Greece has said this would provide "a significant fiscal breath" for the country.

Greece has been locked in talks with the EU and IMF. It risks running out of money within weeks unless it submits a credible reform plan to secure fresh aid under its 240 billion euro bailouts.

Russia on Saturday denied a German media report which suggested the gas pipeline deal could add up to five billion euros to Athens' depleted state coffers.

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