HUFFINGTON POST

Greece's Leftist Government Sparks Fears Of A Russian Beachhead In Europe

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, right, and European Parliament President Martin Schulz hold a news conference after thei
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, right, and European Parliament President Martin Schulz hold a news conference after their meeting at Maximos Mansion in Athens, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015. Schulz is the first European Union official to meet Tsipras, whose new Cabinet alarmed the Greek stock market Wednesday with promises to renege on a series of key budget commitments made by previous administrations in exchange for 240 billion euros in rescue loans. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

LONDON — Just days after shaking European economic policy to its core with a sweeping win in Greek elections, the radical leftist party Syriza is challenging a fundamental tenet of the continent’s foreign policy by seeking a softer stance on Russia.

Both before and after coming to power this week, party leaders have made no secret of their affinity for the Kremlin. They visited Moscow to show solidarity after Western condemnation of the Russian annexation of Crimea last spring. New Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made the Russian ambassador his first foreign visitor within hours of taking office Monday.

Now Syriza is complicating Western efforts to take a tough line against Moscow amid an escalating Russian-backed insurgency in southeastern Ukraine.

Read more on The Washington Post

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