“Winter is Coming”. One would easily fall into a possible political trap, when trying to decipher the statement made from the side of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs this week (4-7 December 2018), with regards to Cyprus’ future; about the “Game of Thrones” that unfolds.
Russia clearly does not want further and deeper engagement of Cyprus with the US; the latter being Cyprus’ global partner to the development and growth of the island, while Russia being the regional partner in business. Russia does clearly not want further utilization of the opportunity established of exploration and utilization of natural resources coming from the EEZ of Cyprus, to possibly clearing the way to militarize the island for purposes of its self-defense that is long-overdue. Thus leading the way to the possibility of European Defense and Euro-Atlantic approach of Cyprus
The USA aims for furthering new elements and alliances that are built for the long-term, based on integrity and resilience to security affairs for the Balkans, the Middle East and possibly extending further to the East and Gulf region. The US has a greater reason to be involved. Its greatest ally, Israel is now involved. In a new sequence of cooperation that seems to be attempted to become a long-lasting.
Through the Greece-Cyprus package that is offered, it seems that a new alliance game is on.
Cyprus sees Israel, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan as its allies. Extending to the Gulf Region, UAE, KSA and Kuwait to name a few.
Greece sees the MENA region yet concentrates step by step to the Balkans, Serbia, Bulgaria even FYROM (upon the resolution of the name issue whether now or in the near future).
This attempted strategic alignment is not easy, considering that Russia clearly understands that there seems to be a creation of a “border line”; a fine line, where Turkey does not really belong to the West rather either stands alone or stands with the Axis of Russia. Needles to remind, that Russia, Turkey, Iran made the first move to construct such a pact leaving regional powers away when aligning interests.
Currently the visit of the Prime Minister of Greece to Russia taking place starting December 7th 2018, may be expected to be an adventurous one, considering that Tsipras has clearly aligned himself with all western interests.
Turkey is failing to manipulate the attempts to create cases against Egypt and Greece. It tries to manipulate the EEZ areas as sources of national security threats. While attempting to draw EEZ border lines with Libya. (Note that Turkey does not participate or belong to the international Treaty on the Law of the Seas. As such one may wonder how they attempt an EEZ with any country). To note at this point that Libya is on constant split within its regions due to its instability while head on for elections to come.
In Turkey’s failure to create new EEZ maps, it is only natural that Russia is called upon to resolve “issues”. Russia’s interests coincide with Turkey. Furthermore holds its own interests namely its bases in Tartu in Syria and the Assad Regime support. A militarization of Cyprus or a Euro-Atlantic identity in Cyprus may trigger the fear factor of extending NATO to the Middle East. Something that Cyprus should have as an option while at the same time is positively seen by Israel who would have no objection to take part in cooperative methods with NATO itself.
Russia actually wants a regional role. A -piece of the pie-.
Fear factor is on the rise. The reason behind, I assume that Russia actually wants a regional role. A “piece of the pie”. It always did and will always do so. Interests of Russia to South-East Mediterranean are great. Both Cyprus and Greece know this. However, the divide and conquer game, actually started with the total alliance integration with Turkey. An element that cannot be left unnoticed.
Russia is a partner in many instances, historical, cultural, trade and defense among others. The ties are in fact strong”
Russia is a partner in many instances, historical, cultural, trade and defense among others. The ties are in fact strong. And date back centuries and are multidivisional. But one would also know that the relations with Greece and Cyprus are also unique. In all aspects. It is also important to stress that both countries, are states of peace, prosperity, stability and security and should not welcome any comments that may be seen as threats towards the integrity and sovereignty of any of the states. Let us not forget that both Greece and Cyprus are part of the European Union. Therefore solidarity is a most strategic element of claim. Greece is also a part of NATO. With which the relations with Russia were always at a stable and cooperative mode. As such Cyprus sovereign ability to decide for its future should be seen positively also from Russia.
It is not correct to create or escalate or even distinguish comments as threats by a friend and ally of historical value. It is correct to engage in partnering while taking away the fear factor of the possibility of militarization and development of Cyprus as it may wish or decide so.
It is also evidently clear that operational cooperation with Cyprus exists. Assurances were provided. Clarity in options was given; efficient cooperation against terrorist issues is existing. These are ways of cooperation for Russians to operate and or transit through Cyprus and more so with Greece.
Russia is on a “wake up call” and reacts the way it wants or needs. I would consider Russia overlooking the opportunities at hand with Cyprus and Greece, giving way to normalization of cooperation between the 3 countries over some last years of degrading cooperation due to the alliance emergence with Turkey.
Russia-Turkey. Let us also not forget that Relations of Russia with Turkey were not easy of the last years. But sound diplomatic dialogue is efficient. When strategic evolution comes about, it seems to be a better option.
On a personal note, I strongly believe that the future of Cyprus and or Greece in this matter, is in the hands of its leadership. And no one else. These are the European and Euro-Atlantic Values.
Let us not forget that in good old times, the Foreign Ministry of Russia, considering the necessity of the Republic of Cyprus to lead on the way to prosperity was always clear that the future lays in the future of the Republic of Cyprus. Did anything change since then?
I see no reason why Russia should “fear case” the future of Cyprus, while Russia can only be a partner of prosperity in the region with Cyprus as its ally to the extent that global rules and regulations are in effect and balances are achieved.