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Kremlin Says Putin, Greek PM Did Not Discuss Financial Aid

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (left) with Russian President Vladimir Putin (file photo)

The Kremlin said there was no discussion of financial aid for Athens at a meeting on June 19 between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Asked whether financial assistance had been discussed at the meeting on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "No, no, no."

Earlier, Tsipras said in a statement that there will be a solution to the Greek debt crisis that will allow the country to return to growth while staying in the eurozone.

Tsipras also welcomed a planned eurozone emergency summit on June 22, just 12 days before Greece must make a crucial $1.8 billion debt repayment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

But the decision to call the summit is a clear sign that relations between Greece and its creditors are as strained as at any time since Athens was first bailed out five years ago.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said further dialogue was needed "with adults in the room."

Tsipras, elected on a promise to end austerity, is demanding a "political level" bargain in which European creditors promise Greece debt relief before he will make any more concessions.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP