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Facing A Payment Deadline, Greece May Turn To Russia

Young people sit in front of the National Library of Athens on Monday, April 6. Greece and its international creditors are still struggling to agree on a list of economic reforms that are deemed necessary for the country to unlock emergency funds. (Yorgos Karahalis/AP)
Young people sit in front of the National Library of Athens on Monday, April 6. Greece and its international creditors are still struggling to agree on a list of economic reforms that are deemed necessary for the country to unlock emergency funds. (Yorgos Karahalis/AP)

Greece is facing a major deadline this week for repaying a loan to the International Monetary Fund.

On Thursday, Greece must pay 456 million euros — or about $503 million. Greece’s Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis met with Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, in Washington over the weekend to offer assurances that Greece will pay its bills.

But, there are mounting concerns over how the country will do that and still stay afloat. Greek officials told The New York Times that if the country pays the IMF, there may not be enough money to pay pensions and public sector wages the following week.

It is against this backdrop that on Wednesday Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is expected to sit down with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin. Greece may be turning to Russia following difficult and inconclusive negotiations with European leaders over the terms that Greece should abide by to receive loans from Europe.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Derek Thompson, senior editor at The Atlantic, about Greece’s position ahead of Thursday’s deadline.

Guest

  • Derek Thompson, senior editor at The Atlantic. He tweets @DKThomp.
  • Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.