Greece among Moscow targets to end sanctions
MOSCOW( Reuters) – Vladimir Putin will step up Russia’s campaign to end European Union sanctions with a visit to Slovenia today, encouraged by signs his tactic of lobbying what he views as more pliant southern and eastern European states is starting to pay off. The sanctions, imposed over the Ukraine crisis, are designed to block access to Western credit and technology for people and businesses linked to President Putin. Combined with American and Group of Seven sanctions, they have made it harder for Russia to weather an economic crisis fueled by low oil prices. Several Moscow-based EU diplomats say Russia’s tactic of methodically lobbying southern and eastern EU member states is starting to seriously erode the bloc’s unity on the issue, making it potentially harder to renew them next time. Italy, Greece, Hungary, Cyprus, Slovenia, Slovakia and Bulgaria were among Moscow’s prime targets, diplomats said.