Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday in Saint Petersburg where the pair are expected to affirm plans to see the construction of “Greek Stream,” an extension to the pipeline that would supply natural gas to Europe.
The Russian leader is also expected to invite Greece to participate in a new development bank for BRICS countries which also includes Brazil, India, China and South Africa. Greece has already backed the EU’s decision to extend sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis, but this does not seem to have bothered Moscow.
According to sources, Athens is mulling the idea of paying a token amount to the new bank before the debt-wracked country can receive financing for infrastructure projects.
On top of the economic benefits, the move would also tap into the desire of the leftist-led government to find alternative sources of financing.
It is not clear what commitments Greece would have to make in order to borrow from the Shanghai-based bank, whose establishment is seen by observers as a move to challenge the global economic governance dominated by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
Meanwhile, the TurkStream pipeline project is also uncertain. Turkey, Serbia and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) have not yet taken a clear stand on the issue. The same applies to the European Commission.