Putin tells Tsipras supports Greek people to 'overcome difficulties'

Putin tells Tsipras supports Greek people to 'overcome difficulties'
File photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin

MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday told Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras he supported Greeks in overcoming the "difficulties" they faced after their resounding 'No' to creditors' bailout terms, the Kremlin said.

"Putin expressed support for the Greek people in overcoming the difficulties facing the country," a Kremlin statement said.

The statement said the talks were initiated by the Greek side and the two leaders also discussed "several questions on the further development of Russian-Greek cooperation".

A Kremlin spokesman earlier said that Moscow hoped Athens could reach a compromise with its creditors after Greeks rejected further austerity measures in Sunday's referendum.

"We hope that our Greek partners reach the necessary compromise with creditors as soon as possible and make decisions that will best contribute to economic and social stability in the country," spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.

Peskov added that the Kremlin respected the results of the plebiscite - which saw more than 61 percent of voters reject a bailout plan - and would closely follow the events unfolding in the European Union member state.

Greece's left-wing leadership has made of show of drawing closer to Moscow in recent months as the spat with its creditors has grown more ugly.

Tsipras has visited Russia twice since April and overseen the inking of an agreement to build a 2-billion-euro ($2.2 billion) gas pipeline to Greece.

Moscow is currently locked in its own standoff with the European Union over the crisis in Ukraine.

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