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5/27/16

Greece: Putin Arrives In Greece On First Visit To EU This Year

Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in Greece on his first visit to the European Union this year as the bloc weighs whether to extend sanctions against Russia amid continuing tensions over Moscow's intervention in Ukraine.

Putin arrived in Athens on May 27 to begin a two-day visit. He is due to meet Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras for energy and investment talks later in the day.
Putin's visit -- his first to the EU since December -- comes as the bloc's leaders are to discuss next month whether to renew sanctions on Russia's banking, defense, and energy sectors that expire in July.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said on May 27 that the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) economic powers have agreed that sanctions imposed against Russia over its actions in Ukraine must be extended next month.

“The G7 has agreed on the vital importance of sanctions rollover in June,” Cameron said following a two-day G7 summit in Japan. “Ukraine is the victim of Russian-backed aggression. We must never forget that fact.”
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on May 27 floated the possibility of a "step-by-step" reduction of EU sanctions against Russia if there is progress on implementing peace accords on Ukraine.

"I hope that by the end of June there will be progress and then we can see if we can reduce the sanctions step by step, or if we stay with the measures we have right now," Steinmeier told reporters in Tallinn.

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