ATHENS — With the prospect of a default looming in Greece, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is preparing to meet next week with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia as a European deal to give more aid to Athens falters.
The timing has raised questions of whether the visit is an ordinary component of the new Greek government’s multipronged foreign policy, or a pivot toward Russia for financial aid in the event that Greece’s talks with European officials collapse.
Negotiations between the struggling Greek government and its creditors stumbled anew on Monday after European leaders said that a reform plan submitted over the weekend to unlock a fresh lifeline of 7.2 billion euros, or about $7.8 billion, fell short. Greece has warned that it may run out of money soon after Mr. Tsipras meets with Mr. Putin on April 8.
Mr. Tsipras, who came to power in January, originally planned to travel to Moscow in May. But he accelerated the meeting with Mr. Putin a couple of weeks ago as Greece came to loggerheads with Germany and other European countries over the terms for releasing the money. Without it, Greece could go bankrupt or possibly exit the 19-nation eurozone, an event that, if it happened, could increase instability in the region.