Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras arrives in Moscow for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The meeting comes as Greece continues to struggle with its debt crisis and a loan repayment looms. Ciara Lee reports on what Greece might be hoping to achieve.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras pays tribute at a war memorial near the Kremlin. He's meeting with Vladimir Putin, and hoping to boost bilateral investment and exports with the country. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) GREEK PRIME MINISTER, ALEXIS TSIPRAS, SAYING (ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL TRANSLATION): "The goal of my visit is for us together to try to give a new momentum to our relations so that both nations would benefit from it and in favor of stability and security in the region." Athens has denied Greece is turning to Russia for financial assistance. Schroders' Azad Zangana says considering Moscow's own economic woes, it would be difficult for it to make a significant contribution to Greece anyway. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AZAD ZANGANA,SENIOR EUROPEAN ECONOMIST AND STRATEGIST AT SCHRODERS, SAYING: "I think Greece is trying to use the relationship with Russia as a bargaining chip with the rest of the European Union. And they are hoping that the European Union would rather bail Greece out in the near term to avoid a solidifying of that relationship with Russia going forward." Greece could be on shaky ground with any dealings with Russia. The European Parliament has warned Tsipras not to break from the EU line on sanctions towards Russia over its role in the Ukraine crisis. The meeting comes as Greece's debt crisis continues to dog the new government which promised an end to austerity. It has a loan repayment of 448 million euros due on Thursday. Athens says it will make this deadline, but there are further repayments looming. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AZAD ZANGANA,SENIOR EUROPEAN ECONOMIST AND STRATEGIST AT SCHRODERS, SAYING: "What they really need to do is convince European partners that they are serious about the structural reforms in order for them to win a new bailout deal. At the moment they don't seem to be doing enough of that because they are too preoccupied with raising enough cash to meet these short term debt repayments." Greece is fast running out of money. The bailout extended by its creditors has been frozen until the leftist-led government reaches agreement on a package of reforms. Athens' suggestions have so far fallen short and lenders say they want more. No deal is expected before a Eurogroup meeting on April 24th, and many analysts say the possibility of a Greek exit from the euro is growing.