Russia may throw Greece an energy 'lifeline'

Greece's pension problem
Greece's pension problem

Cash-poor Greece, which imports virtually all its oil and gas, may get some energy help from Russia.

According to a report in Russian state-run media outlet Sputnik News, Russia is nearing an agreement to make "direct deliveries" of energy to Greece.

Greece imports more than 99% of its energy needs. As its economic crisis deepens, it's unclear how Greece will continue to pay for those imports.

Russia currently supplies about a third of Greece's crude oil and 60% of its natural gas, according to the International Energy Association.

The energy minister of Russia, Alexander Novak, said Sunday a deal could be reached in the next few weeks.

"The Russian Federation plans to support the renewal of the Greek economy by expanding its cooperation in the energy sector," Novak was quoted as saying. "We are studying the possibility of organizing direct deliveries of energy to the Greek government to begin in the near future."

Related: The Greek crisis explained

That deal would expand recent developments in energy cooperation between the countries.

Reports from Russian state media last month said Greece landed a deal to build a $2.3 billion pipeline to be paid for by Russia. The pipeline would bring gas through Greece and into western Europe by 2019. The arrangement could also generate revenue for Greece through transmission fees.

Russia and Greece share deep cultural and economic ties. Russian tourists visit Greece in large numbers every year, and the two countries have drawn closer since Greeks voted left-wing Syriza into power earlier this year.

Eurozone leaders are meeting in Brussels on Sunday to try to strike an agreement for a way forward on another bailout for Greece.

--CNNMoney's Alanna Petroff contributed to this report.

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