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Russia, China have offered Greece economic support: minister

[ATHENS] Russia and China have offered Greece economic support even though Athens has not asked for it, Greece's Deputy Foreign Minister Nikos Chountis said on Tuesday, without giving details. "There have been proposals, offers I would say, from Russia, recently after the election, for economic support as well as from China, regarding help, investment possibilities," Chountis, who holds the European Affairs portfolio, told Greek radio. "We have not asked for it. It's on the table. We're discussing it," he said.

Athens has so far ruled out resorting to aid from Russia as it seeks a deal with European partners to avoid a major funding crisis, though Defence Minister Panos Kammenos earlier on Tuesday suggested Greece could always look elsewhere for help.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias is due to visit Russia on Wednesday.

Chountis said while Athens was not excluding alternative sources of aid, its first priority was to "exhaust all options" in reaching a deal with its European partners.