Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reviews an honor guard at the Presidential Palace during a welcoming ceremony before a meeting with Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades in Nicosia Monday, Feb. 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras ruled out seeking aid from Russia and said Monday he would pursue a new debt agreement with European partners, taking a milder line after a tough first week although sparring partner Germany gave no ground.Spurning neckties, Tsipras and his pugnacious finance minister Yanis Varoufakis are touring European capitals this week in a diplomatic offensive to replace Greece's bailout accord with the EU, ECB and IMF, known as the "troika". In excerpts, Varoufakis said it was time for action to stop Greece being a "festering wound" on Europe.Greece eventually signed up last Thursday to extending existing sanctions against Russia for six more months.It has so far met a tough line from European partners, above all Germany, whose Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told Reuters in an interview Monday that Berlin would not accept any unilateral changes to Greece's debt program.Tsipras repeated calls already made by his finance minister Varoufakis to dismantle a mechanism of inspections by experts from the "troika" overseeing Greek finances and replace it with direct negotiations between Athens, the EU and IMF.
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