By Jonathan Davies

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has insisted that he has not asked Russia for financial aid ahead of a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Reports yesterday (Tuesday) suggested that the meeting in Moscow could be used to discuss a possible financial aid package.

But Mr Tsipras said before meeting President Putin in Moscow that he was focused on resolving Greece's debt crisis with its creditors in Europe.

"We have not asked for financial aid. We want to solve our issues of debt ... within the eurozone," a Greek official told Reuters.

Greece faced huge criticism over the possibility of the deal. The EU is determined to present a united front against Russia in its economic dealings following the conflict in Ukraine.

Austrian finance minister Hans Joerg Schelling was one of those to criticise the move. He said: "It’s perfectly normal for talks to take place but I would urgently warn against getting closer.

"We are in the middle of final negotiations for financing for Greece and I don’t believe that a good game is being played here."

But the Greek official said: "Greece knows what to do within the EU framework but every country also has the sovereign right to look after and improve its bilateral relations."