Lithuanian and Latvian PMs criticize Greek Tsipras’ Moscow trip

Alexis Tsipras in Moscow
AP/Scanpix

Lithuania’s Algirdas Butkevičius said at a joint news conference in Vilnius: “Many EU countries found the visit alarming.”

“The purpose of his visit is absolutely incomprehensible. The need for all EU member-states to speak in one voice has been repeatedly emphasized during the meetings of the European Council,” said Butkevičius.

At the meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, the Greek PM called for an end to the “vicious cycle” of sanctions against Russia over Ukraine.

Laimdota Straujuma, the prime minister of Latvia, currently presiding over the EU Council, said she was astonished by the Greek PM’s remarks, as Athens in March supported the EU decision to apply the sanctions on Russia until full implementation of the Minsk accords.

“At that meeting in March, the Greek prime minister accepted the common position. Therefore, it was a surprise for me what he said in Moscow,” Straujuma told Vilnius journalists.

Taavi Roivas, who formed the new Estonian government earlier this week, also stressed that the sanctions cannot be eased until full implementation of the Minsk agreements, including the handover of the border control to Ukraine. Nevertheless, Roivas refrained from comments on Tsipras’ visit.

“This is something that I do not see a need to comment. All prime ministers choose the countries which they visit. Having formed my second government yesterday, I chose to take my first visit here,” the Estonian PM told Vilnius journalists.

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