Greek leader Tsipras urges Putin to ditch S-400 missile deal with Turkey

Athens (IPA)– Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has reportedly urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to abandon a deal to sell the S-400 surface-to-air missile defense system to neighbouring Turkey.

During an official visit to Moscow, where he laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Tsipras met both Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in separate meetings.

During Tsipras’ meeting with the Russian president, Putin pointed to the fact that half of Greece natural gas requirements were being met by Russia. He also pointed out that 10 percent of Greece’s oil imports came from Russia.

The Russian leader went further to say that he expected Greek companies could make a contribution to the construction of natural gas infrastructure, known as the TurkStream pipeline project, which will see Russian natural gas pumped to Europe.

However Tsipras pointed to Turkey’s focus on arming itself, highlighting the S400 surface-to-air missile system that Ankara wants to get and which will reportedly be delivered by Russia to the Nato ally in 2019.

“I have conveyed my concerns over Turkey’s armament program, because it still maintains its decision of  ‘Spy is Known’ – a pretext of war- for Greece.”

In a press conference, Tsipras was asked his thoughts on Russia’s recent allegations by Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman that that a US delegation had been in the country to view potential sites for military bases.

Responding to the question, Tsipras said that he had spoken to Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades over the allegations.

He said the idea of having more foreign troops based on the island while demanding the removal of Turkish troops from the troubled island was simply not logical. Former colonial power Great Britain maintains two bases on the divided island.

He said that Cyprus pursues a fairly balanced policy towards Russia.

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