April 7, 2015 / 6:49 PM / 3 years ago

Schulz warns Greece to stick to EU's line on Russia sanctions: newspaper

BERLIN (Reuters) - European Parliament President Martin Schulz warned Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras not to break with the European Union line on sanctions toward Russia during a visit to Moscow planned for Wednesday.

EU parliament president Martin Schulz speaks at a news conference in Beijing, March 17, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

“Greece demands and gets a lot of solidarity from the EU. We can therefore also ask for solidarity from Greece and for this solidarity not to be ended unilaterally by pulling out of joint measures,” Schulz told regional German newspaper Muenchner Merkur in an interview to be published on Wednesday.

Schulz said he and others had made this clear to the left-wing Tsipras in several discussions, adding: “He should base his actions in Moscow on that. The EU expects that from him as the head of government of an EU member state.”

The 28-nation EU slapped sanctions on Moscow over its perceived support for pro-Russian separatist forces in Ukraine.

Tsipras’s government has said it will not seek aid from Moscow during his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but has so far failed to reach a deal with its EU/IMF creditors to unlock fresh funds.

Schulz also criticized a Greek demand for Germany to pay 278.7 billion euros in reparations over the Nazi occupation of Greece during World War Two.

“I think it’s counterproductive to mix these emotionally charged issues with the current financial crisis in Greece,” he said, adding he shared Berlin’s opinion that the reparations issue had already been dealt with politically and legally.

Germany’s economy minister branded Greece’s reparations demand as “stupid” on Tuesday, while the German opposition said Berlin should repay a forced loan dating from the Nazi occupation.

Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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