One of the Greek government’s prerogatives during the six-month period that it will preside over the EU is to improve the country’s international credibility, in an effort to attract investments and growth initiatives. To that end, Prime Minister Samaras has scheduled to meet with Russian President Putin in Brussels on Tuesday and American President Obama on the 26th of March, in order to discuss the Greek economy and the efforts to return to the markets.
In recent times the relations between Athens and Moscow have remained stagnant or even deteriorated, so the meeting between Samaras and Putin is a good opportunity to revitalize relations. The Russian Federation has taken some initiatives in the past six months, primarily by the Chairman of the Federal Council Matviyenko, however the DEPA debacle and implication of Azerbaijan has caused a diplomatic crisis.
It has been about two years since Samaras and Putin last met in person. Developing Greek and Russian ties in finances will likely be at the top of the agenda, as will the EU’s relation to Russia and the developments in the Ukraine. From the Russian perspective, the main goal is to come to an agreement for Gazprom’s South Stream pipeline proposal, the south part of which will go through Greece.
Furthermore, Mr. Samaras is expected to travel to Israel again and develop Greco-Israeli relations. The Jewish community has a positive impression of the Greek premier, especially since the government has taken action against Golden Dawn. Athens and Tel Aviv are expected to develop military ties and expand upon the tripartite energy cooperation agreement with Cyprus.