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Greece PM says sanctions against Russia ‘a road to nowhere’

March 31, 2015, 10:01 UTC+3 ATHENS
The Greek premier stressed that the economic war is a "dead-end policy"
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Alexis Tsipras

Alexis Tsipras

©  EPA/RAINERВ JENSEN

ATHENS, March 31. /TASS/. Greece does not back the West’s sanctions against Russia as this is a "road to nowhere," the country’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in an exclusive interview with TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman on Tuesday.

In the interview ahead of his upcoming visit to Moscow on April 8, the Greek prime minister noted that there is a chance of bringing the trade ties between the two countries to a new level.

"We can have a substantial cooperation that will allow Greece to export its agricultural goods to the Russian Federation," Tsipras stressed.

"You know that over the past years a blow was dealt to these relations as the previous governments in my country had not done what they could have done to avoid this senseless sanctions policy, in my opinion, amid tensions in Ukraine," he said.

"The result of this is the embargo also on the Greek agricultural goods what has seriously damaged the Greek economy," Tsipras said.

The prime minister reminded that as soon as he took office he received a message from European Council President Donald Tusk "who almost took for granted Greece’s position in favor of sanctions."

"I called him and also / EU foreign policy chief/ Federica Mogherini and told them: "Don’t think that Greece’s position is pretty much a given, the situation has changed and now there is another government in Greece. And now you should ask us before you take the decisions," he said.

"We do not agree with sanctions. I believe that this is a road to nowhere. I support the point of view that there is a need for a dialogue and diplomacy, we should sit down at the negotiating table and find the solutions to major problems," he said.

The Greek premier stressed that the economic war is a "dead-end policy."

"I’m for diplomacy," Tsipras said. "I believe reaching the Minsk agreements is an important achievement. I think every effort should be made to stop tensions in Ukraine," he added.

Tsipras said during his first participation in the EU summit on March 19-20 in Brussels he told the prime ministers and heads of states: "Tell me how do you imagine the new security architecture in Europe? Do you see it with Russia on the opposite side or with Russia in the process of a dialogue and mutual understanding?"

"I received no answer from many of them," Tsipras said. "In my understanding, the answer is clear: the new European security architecture should also include Russia."

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