Putin in Athens: not welcomed by all

Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Athens on Friday marked the leader's first trip to an EU country in more than a year. He and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced plans to tighten the economic and political ties between their countries. The visit is a thorn in the side of commentators from Eastern Europe.

Open/close all quotes
15min (LT) /

Still not time for dialogue with Putin

Dialogue with Putin is out of the question as long as he continues to defend the annexation of Crimea, news website 15min warns:

“Putin said in Greece that the Crimea chapter was closed forever and Russia won't discuss it with anyone. At the same time the Russian president's visit to Athens was supposed to be a sign of an attempt to normalise relations. But can one talk to a person who comes to visit with a club in his hand? A dialogue is really necessary and everyone is willing to launch it - except the Kremlin. But as long as Russia doesn't leave Crimea and blocks the Minsk protocol there is no room for dialogue. Otherwise it would be like catching a thief in your house red-handed and trying to convince him to give back part of the booty. A crime must not be legalised.”

România Liberă (RO) /

Kremlin chief faces rude awakening

While in Athens Putin warned Romania that it could be caught in Russia's "crosshairs" as a result of the the US missile defence shield. President Klaus Iohannis should have responded to the threat, România Liberă believes:

“The Romanian president should have reminded Putin that Russia continues to violate international law by occupying Crimea and eastern Ukraine. ... Instead he remained silent, presumably for fear of burning Romania's bridges to Moscow. But we have no bridges to Moscow. ... As far as the Kremlin chief is concerned, if he wants to learn something from Romania he should look at the events of recent years and see what happens to a dictator who turns his back on the people. Everyone, from Saddam to Gaddafi, was horrified when they saw what happened to Ceaușescu, yet they repeated his mistakes. Putin would do well to learn quickly that you can't go on deceiving and humiliating your people forever.”