LONDON, June 22. /TASS/. The United States is worried about the strengthening of Greece’s ties with Russia and that is why Washington is secretly convincing Germany and its partners in the European Union to agree to compromise in the talks on the settlement of Athens’ debt, The Financial Times reported.
"As Washington tries to maintain a united western front in support of sanctions on Russia over Ukraine, a Greek default could provide Moscow an opportunity to sow new divisions among America’s European allies," the influential British newspaper wrote Sunday.
"You can easily see how geopolitically this would be a gift to Russia," FT quoted Sebastian Mallaby at the Council on Foreign Relations as saying. "You do not want Europe to have to deal with a Greece that is a member of NATO but which all of a sudden hates the west and is cosying up to Russia."
"For some months, the administration of President Barack Obama has been quietly urging Germany and other EU members to try to find a way to resolve the stand-off with Greece. While economic considerations have been at the forefront, diplomats say the EU’s position on Ukraine has also been part of the conversation," the newspaper wrote.
"The visit by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to St. Petersburg late last week served as a reminder of the current Greek government’s political ties to President Vladimir Putin’s Russia and showed its willingness to look towards Moscow at moments when the dispute with international creditors is at its most intense," it wrote.
The newspaper said "the worry is that the prolonged economic instability that could result from a default would deepen the political hostility towards the rest of Europe among the Greek electorate, opening an opportunity for Russia to boost its sway in the country."
Since 2010, when the crisis of Greece’s sovereign debt started, the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have provided loans worth nearly 250 billion euros to Athens, and Greece has to gradually repay it.
Despite a partial write-off of the Greek debt in 2012, its state debt currently exceeds 315 billion, which constitutes 175% of GDP - three times more than the maximum possible state debt level for Eurozone countries.