Greece Could Be the Russian Trojan horse in EU?

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( — April 8, 2015)  — When Greece’s Premiere Alexis Tsipras visited Berlin last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that there was no additional money for loans that could save Greece from bankruptcy. In a joint press conference, Tsipras agrivated Merkel by stating that Germany owes Greece for war reparations for the Second World War. Merkel, however, stated that for Germans, that chapter is closed.

It appears that for Tsipras, the chapter is far from closed. After useless knocking on the EU allies’ doors, in order to save Greece from impending bankruptcy, he tried the Kremlin, and that door opened wide.

EU leaders declared the Greek Premiere Alexis Tsipras visit to Kremlin on Wednesday a ‘stab in the back’ as he ignored the trade blockade and asked Russia to allow import of fruit: kiwis, peaches and strawberries to be precise, according to reports in the Financial Times.

The fruit, however, is just a tip of an iceberg which threatens to sink EU like the Titanic. EU leaders now worry that the Greece would become a Russian ‘Trojan Horse’ in EU, where Russia could agree to pay Greek’s debt in exchange for a Greek veto on sanctions.

Others argue that Tsipras is bluffing and the proposal is posturing meant to help reach an agreement with Germany. They consider this move by Greek Premiere ‘unimaginable’.

“The Greeks are using Russia as a way to piss off Berlin, to frighten them. Tsipras wants to show he has other options,” FT cited Theocharis Grigoriadis, a Greece-Russia relations expert at the Free University of Berlin.

“But he has no intention of making Greece a Russian satellite. The Russians know that. The Germans know that. It is pure theatre, a Greek game, and I’m afraid it looks like a poodle trying to scare a lion,” Grigoriadis told the Financial Times.

Though Greece and Russia share the same Ortodox Christianity religion, experts say that Greece will never leave its Catholic western allies. Former Piraeus University professor, Mr Kotzias, said that “There are mistaken stereotypes,” referring to the circles that react as if Greece were abandoning the west or wanting to engage in backstabbing.

Though the Russia has a history of helping Greece with its financial problems, the €172 bn debt ($186,6 bn) is entirely different scale. On the other hand, Russia may offer to relax Greece’s debt and begin to import fruits, for a start, to help Greece’s economy heal. Moscow also says that a full Greek exemption from the import ban may be impossible due to global trade rules.

Meanwhile, Moscow’s focus is on Turkish Stream, a gas pipeline that alters ‘South Stream’ blocked in Bulgaria by the EU. Actually, EU needs that gas; however, US pressured EU to block it due the sanctions.

The point is that Russian gas enters EU through Ukraine, and if there is another point of access, Russia could stop supply Ukraine with gas, which would force Ukraine to negotiate peace directly with the Moscow, and that would mean the end of the sanctions against Russia, or directly opposite of what US consider its national interest.  Interestingly, the same gas could reach EU through Greece by the Turkish Stream.