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“Greece under the leadership of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras could become a thorn in side of of the European Union on both an economic and political level,” with the Greek leader opposing further EU sanctions against Russia, writes De Standaard.

EU Council president Donald Tusk found himself “in an awkward position” when the new governement in Athens announced 27 January that it does not support his statement on the conflict in Ukraine and the attack on Mariupol by alleged pro-Russian insurgents, where at least 100 civilians died last weekend. Earlier on Tuesday, Tusk had asked EU foreign affairs ministers to propose new sanctions against Russia at Thursday's meeting. The Greek government said Tusk should have contacted Athens before sending out the declaration. According to the Brussels newspaper, Tsipras is “a likely ally of Putin”: the first person he met after his appointment as PM on Monday was the Russian ambassador in Greece.