In his Clash of Civilizations, Samuel Huntington specifically predicts a rapprochement in Greek-Russian relations on account of common civilizational factors. The explanatory validity of this claim can be assessed by examining the extent and nature of the recently improved bilateral relations between Athens and Moscow. An analysis is presented of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline deal, Greece's participation in the South Stream gas pipeline project, its purchase of Russian tanks, and its more recent strategy of taking a step back from its overall excellent relations with Russia. Upon further scrutiny, it is concluded that cultural affinities do not determine or even greatly influence contemporary Greek foreign policy. Rather, Athens' various decisions are better explained on the basis of more traditional realist concepts.

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