Kremlin: Finding Solution to Greek Debt Crisis 'Not Russia's Problem'

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (L) speaks with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2015 (SPIEF 2015) in St. Petersburg, Russia, June 19, 2015.

Finding a solution to Greece's debt crisis is not a matter for Russia but for Athens and its creditors, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.

"This is Greece's problem," Peskov told journalists on a conference call. "[It's a matter] of Greece's relations with its creditors, it's not a matter for us."

The head of the European Commission made a last-minute offer to try to persuade Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to accept a bailout deal that he has rejected before a referendum on Sunday which EU partners say will be a choice of whether to stay in the euro.

Athens and Moscow have drawn closer in recent months even as the EU squares off with Russia over the Ukraine crisis. Tsipras was the only current head-of-state of a Western country to attend Russia's top economic forum in St. Petersburg earlier this month, during which Greece signed off on a Russian plan to build a gas pipeline through Greece to funnel gas to the EU.

Tsipras earlier courted controversy with a trip to Moscow in April that some critics viewed as evidence of Greece breaking ranks with the rest of the EU over sanctions on Russia. There has since been speculation that Russia could offer Greece a bailout, a move that would severely strain the Russian budget, which has seen 10 percent cuts on most spending as falling oil prices and Western sanctions squeeze the country's economy.

(Reuters, MT)

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