WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Saturday he was happy over a report that Greece was poised to sign a gas deal with Russia, though he added it would not solve the cash-strapped euro zone nation's economic problems.
"I am happy about that for Greece," Schaeuble told journalists on the sidelines of the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington. "But I do not think that this would solve the problems Greece has in fulfilling the commitments of the memorandum of understanding (with its European partners)."
German magazine Der Spiegel, citing a senior official in Greece's ruling leftist Syriza party, reported that Athens could sign a gas deal with Russia as early as Tuesday that could bring 3-5 billion euros into the Greece's depleted government coffers.
It said that during a visit to Moscow earlier this month Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras expressed interest in participating in a pipeline that would bring Russian gas to Europe via Turkey and Greece.
Under the proposed deal, Greece would receive advance funds from Russia based on expected future profits linked to the pipeline.