The White House has told Newsmax its concerns that Russian President Vladimir Putin might offer Greece a loan in return for its support in stopping further sanctions from the European Union "will at least be moderated" by Russia's struggling economy.
Press secretary Josh Earnest spoke to reporters at the White House on Monday, four days after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras held his second meeting with Putin in as many months.
Newsmax pointed out that over the weekend, likely Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Gov. John Kasich called a possible Russian loan to cash-strapped Greece "a very, very ugly scenario" and "a terrible decision on the part of the Greeks."
We asked if the administration has any position on Greece turning to Russia for its next loan or a bailout.
"Well, the fact is the two countries you're discussing are not exactly countries whose economies are operating at peak levels right now," Earnest replied. "So I think that's why the concern that you hear expressed about this from the administration will at least be moderated."
President Barack Obama's top spokesman then went on to repeat what has been the standard administration line regarding Greece's ongoing efforts to repay its five-year, 240 billion euro loan to the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank, and the European Commission.
The administration continues to believe, Earnest told us, "That now is the time for Greece and their partners to reach an agreement after months of difficult negotiations.
"It's in everybody's interest for a way forward to be found that will allow Greece to successfully return to stability and growth while continuing to make progress in implementing important reforms to put its public finances back on a sustainable path."
Reminding us that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is engaged with both Tsipras' government and "all of the partners [the administration's term for Greece's three creditors]," Earnest said "ultimately we are hopeful that Greece and its partners will seize this opportunity, now that we're so close to the deadline, to complete the negotiations and move forward in the collective interest of all of those sitting around the table."
He was referring to the current negotiations in Brussels in which Greece and its creditors are trying to craft a new arrangement that will avoid a default if the Tsipras government fails to come up with the 1.6 billion euros that are due the IMF on June 30.
Newsmax then asked Earnest one last time: "Nothing on Russia?"
He replied: "Nothing on Russia."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.
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