In a lengthy article, RIA Novosti laid out its position on the recent agreement for Sweden and Finland to join NATO, reached with Turkey lifting its veto when it was offered the compromises it requested.
Russian The agency said:
“Athens understands that their interests can become another handout in exchange for Erdogan’s loyalty to the West.”
Moscow is warning Greece that just as the West abandoned the Kurds for Erdogan, it will do the same to Greece, which has shown more than “accessibility.” The Kurds, in fact, for the hundredth time already serve as “ifigenia” for the Americans. They sacrifice them whenever they think they can be used to bring the Turks back to the western camp.
It is worth noting that RIA Novosti, as a state news agency, echoes the views and positions of the Kremlin.
“It was only a matter of time before Turkey changed its position on the issue of Sweden and Finland joining NATO. Few expected it to happen so soon, but there was even less doubt that it was inevitable.
And with the greatest anxiety these events are observed not only in Kurdistan and the Kurdish diaspora, but also in Greece.
Last Saturday, Turkish intelligence agencies reported the arrest of Mohammed Amar Ambar, a spy who worked for their Greek counterparts. It is alleged that the businessman, under the guise of a commercial activity, learned and transmitted to Athens information about the Turkish army, Syrian refugees in the country and supporters of FETÖ, an organization of followers of Fethullah Gülen, whom Erdogan considers the mastermind behind the 2016 coup.
In general, the confrontation between Turkey and Greece has been going on for more than a century. We will not go into the details already forgotten in Athens about how the country’s independence was achieved: through the efforts of not only the Greek people, but also the Russian army, and the Treaty of Adrianople, which de facto secured the independence of Greece, which arose as a result of the war between the Russian and Ottoman empires. 1828-1829
We are much more interested in the events of the last decades. The time bomb, carefully left behind by Britain in the form of the Cyprus dispute, has been preventing the normalization of relations between Athens and Ankara for almost 40 years.
Taking advantage of the 1974 military coup in Cyprus (which was supported by Greece), Turkey took control of the northern part of the island. This junction is a serious obstacle on the way to the European Union – the Republic of Cyprus is itself a member EUbut Ankara does not recognize the government in Nicosia.
In addition, in 2014, the ECHR ordered the Turkish side to pay the Cypriots a total of 90 million euros, which the Erdogan government predictably refused.
After that, Erdogan repeatedly changed his position on the problem of European integration: either he declared that Turkey was no longer interested in it, or he called EU membership a strategic goal – after all, Turkey has been in the status of a candidate for 23 years.
In recent years, this story has played with new colors. In the late 2010s, geologists in the Levant Basin discovered oil and gas deposits, some of which are located in the Maritime Economic Zone of Cyprus.
But even without these reserves, the island is of interest from the point of view of energy security, since it is planned to lay the EastMed East Mediterranean gas pipeline through its territory, designed to ensure the supply of fuel from the Middle East to Europe. To this end, Greece actively developed contacts with other countries in the region, especially with Israel and even with Egypt.
Another issue on which the official allies oppose each other is the dispute over the islands of the Aegean Sea.
Ankara is convinced that Greece is violating the demilitarization regime. In Athens, in turn, these claims are considered “legally, historically and factually unfounded “.
In short, the Greek side wants to expand the territorial waters adjacent to the islands by the 12 miles allowed by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea to develop the natural gas fields there.
Turkey has not signed this document, so Ankara prefers to refer to the memorandum of understanding with Libya on the delimitation of maritime zones, concluded in 2019.
This agreement, in turn, is no longer recognized by the Greek authorities, as they believe it violates their rights in the resource-rich maritime zone south of Crete. After it was signed, the Libyan ambassador was even expelled from Athens.
Greece’s position on this issue was repeatedly supported by Egypt and Israel, as well as France, which conducted joint naval exercises.
To understand why these issues are so important for Turkey, it is worth remembering how she sees herself. If Russia is sometimes accused of lacking a national idea, then Erdogan has three of them.
Until recently, the current Turkish leadership has equally actively tried to promote the concepts of European integration, neo-Ottomanism and Pan-Turkism for internal and external consumption, but the former idea has lost its place due to the circumstances described above.
As part of his neo-Ottoman policy, Erdogan views the Middle East as his palace and imperial heritage, which is why Ankara is hostile to Athens’ efforts to establish contacts with Arab countries.
But the problem is that since the time of the previous rule, the gates of the former vilayets have become much stronger and are not particularly attracted by the prospect of regional leadership of an ethnically alien Turkey.
Some players, such as Saudi Arabia and, to a lesser extent, Egypt, would like to see themselves as leaders in the Arab world. They even achieve some success in this area, but with an eye on Russia.
Realizing the concept of the Great Turan, Erdogan is doing everything possible: in recent years, the integration of the Turkish peoples has been gaining momentum, Baku is especially actively moving closer to Ankara. But other former Soviet republics of Central Asia (especially Kazakhstan) do not refuse this task.
Since this idea implies, if not a state, then at least a community “from the Mediterranean to the Laptev Sea,” Russia is closely following Turkey’s actions in this direction.
The implementation of any of these ideas will require huge costs on the part of the Turkish authorities and building a strong economy. And here the boat of the Sultan’s ambitions is drowned by a record 70 percent inflation, threatening not only the implementation of large-scale strategies, but also Erdogan’s victory in the elections, which are less than a year away.
However, in light of the current turmoil and Europe’s desire to find an alternative to Russian gas and oil, access to energy resources promises Ankara huge benefits that could help solve existing domestic problems.
That is why Turkey is so zealously defending its status as the main fuel hub in the south of the European Union, while simultaneously trying to become an independent supplier.
In pursuit of this, it behaves as if independently of NATO, shooting in all directions both in disputes with Greece and in the issue of joining the alliance of Finland and Sweden, which are forced to make concessions, and the United States is forced to monitor such actions that threaten unity of the West.
Athens understands that their interests can become another handout in exchange for Erdogan’s loyalty to the West.”
About the author: David Rolandovich Narmania, bFormer Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia. Mayor of Tbilisi in 2014-2017. Author of 24 popular and scientific works, co-author of 34 scientific papers.