quinta-feira, 9 de abril de 2015

Greece between the European Union and Russia

Brussels looks to Moscow and, mainly, for the first meeting between the Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Greek side wants to improve relations between the two countries, trying to get some financial benefit, while the European Union draws attention to the consequences.

At a time when both Greece and Russia have major problems with the European Union, the two countries decided to strengthen their relations. Putin won an ally within the EU, something that didn't fall well within the European family, because the Greek Chief Executive was keen to stress that it is against the policy of sanctions.

The Greece is, on its own initiative, in the middle of the war between the European Union and Russia. Your choices may prove dangerous at a time when the country is still in a serious financial crisis.

Greece can open a "window of opportunity" outside the European Union if we isolate in this critical time for their survival?

The answers, coming up next, with Konstantinos Filis explaining the intentions of the Greek Government, the risks and possible consequences.


What does Greece seeks with the visit to Russia?

Konstantinos Filis:

When Europeans ask to Greece imposing limits in its relations with Russia they are pretending to be, themselves, the major European States, do not develop relations with Moscow based on national interests. On the other hand, Greece should not strengthen its links with Russia when there are negotiations with its creditors, for two reasons: on the one hand the country sends a wrong signal to European partners: of Greek policy, as regards the European Union, has an opportunistic character, i.e. If you do not meet our demands we can turn to other side. On the other, as Russia cannot be considered as a serious alternative for Greece, but only as an add-on, there is always the danger of sending a wrong signal to third countries such as China.


Martin Schulz warned the Greek Government not to endanger the European Union common position with regard to sanctions on Russia. However Alexis Tsipras, speaking to Russian Agency, made statements that go in one direction, completely different. Isn't it dangerous?

Konstantinos Filis:

I believe that Athens will not choose to distance himself from the common position of the European Union, this can lead to their isolation. Will try to form a common bloc, with EU Member States, which share the same positions and have similar priorities, such as Italy, Austria, Slovakia, Cyprus, Hungary, even though the very particular leadership, Hungary and Greece must be careful not to follow the same path. Therefore, Russia may be helpful but we have a single European position.


The Greek Foreign Minister signed Tuesday, in Hungary, a joint declaration, to proceed with the pipeline that goes through Turkey. This does not mean that the position of some Member States is changing at a time when the European Union is trying to accelerate the EU in terms of energy, also to become less dependent on Russian gas?

Konstantinos Filis:

For Greece's participation in this project there are specific conditions that are important for the implementation of the project that have to be fulfilled. Firstly, the countries that were affected by the cancellation of the Pan-European gas pipeline South Stream, such as Austria and Italy, should be willing to engage in this new project.

The second issue is that companies must be found available to transport the gas that Russia wants to send the gas by the Greek-Turkish border but without having, then, any involvement to avoid legal ramifications.

The next step, and also a condition, is to ensure a common European position or at least a minimum consensus that makes Brussels support the project. If there is no support from Brussels, as in the case of South Stream, so the project can get damaged.

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