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Greece is expected to meet a deadline to repay a roughly $485m loan instalment to the
International Monetary Fund, a debt the country has insisted it will honour despite being severely cash strapped.

The sum expected to be paid on Thursday arises from Greece's international bailout, under which the country was given $260bn in rescue loans from other euro zone countries and the IMF to prevent bankruptcy.

Greece's left wing-led government has been locked in strained negotiations with creditors since winning January elections on pledges to abolish the deeply resented austerity measures on which the rescue was conditional.

It hopes to persuade creditors to unlock the final $7.2bn bailout instalment.

Doubts about whether Greece could repay the loan had renewed fears the country might default and have to leave the euro zone.

On Wednesday, Alexis Tsipras, Greek prime minister, visited Russian President Vladimir Putin amid rumours of financial assistance from Russia, but Putin stopped short of offering aid, instead giving Russia's moral support and cooperation.

"Greece is not a beggar going around to countries asking them to solve its economic problem, an economic crisis that doesn't only concern Greece but is a European crisis," Tsipras said.

Source: AP