July 16, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Russia: We will not prevent Turkey from dealing with Greece and Cyprus…

Those who laughed at Russia’s statement about the inclusion of Greece in the list of “unfriendly countries” did not understand the main thing – Russia is actually untying Turkey’s hands in relation to Greece: “We will not block the Turks in the Aegean Sea and in Cyprus,” they say in the Kremlin.

After yesterday’s official statement by the Russian government on the inclusion of Greece in list “countries unfriendly to Russia” is immediately added the extremely alarming Russian analysisaccording to which Turkey, very likely to start the “demilitarization” of the Aegean Islands and the “operation to protect the Muslims of Western Thrace” shortly before the 2023 elections. Actually the name of the analysis is clear: “Russia will not interfere with Turkey’s plans for Greece and Cyprus.”

Russia believes that Turkey intentionally waiting for the defeat of Ukraine in the war with Russia, because, according to the Turkish leadership, NATO will use up a huge amount of conventional weapons in this conflict and fall apart financially, so that it will not be able to respond effectively when Ankara decides to attack Greece and Cyprus. After all, the victory of Russia will create a precedent, which Turkey will skillfully “adjust” to its requirements.

Are you sure in Athens that the West will support Greece and Cyprus if a Turkish act of aggression starts? Is it possible that such a superpower as Russia will not support its co-religionists, they think in Greece …

“The ongoing confrontation between the West and Russia is rapidly gaining momentum and affects the whole world. But there are also countries that benefit from the confrontation between the West and Russia. One of them is Turkey, which, although a member of NATO, is far from the West, if only because it has refused to impose sanctions against Russia.

Ankara’s refusal of sanctions is logical, since the Turks want to get rich and develop economic cooperation with Russia, and the Europeans will lose the Russian market and suffer losses due to the sanctions policy.

The past event can be called another great success for Ankara. On July 20, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin signed an order to expand the list of countries unfriendly to Russia. Among these countries was Greece, which in recent years has been openly pursuing an openly hostile policy towards Russia.

This fact is an alarming signal for Athens in the context of the deterioration of Greek-Turkish relations. Greece should think about this in connection with the nextanniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. In Turkey, this event is called a peacekeeping operation in Cyprus.

On the occasion of the 48th anniversary of the invasion, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan himself made a speech on the social network “Twitter”, and official events were held in (occupied) Nicosia, including political speeches. Thus, the President of the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (TRNC) Ersin Tatar said:

“I would like to emphasize that we will resolutely continue our struggle until we bring our struggle for justice and freedom to victory in the international arena. We will never give up our state, independence and sovereignty.”

Vice President of Turkey Fuat Oktay also made a number of statements:

“Turkey, as a guarantor country, will continue to guard the sovereign rights, freedoms and well-being of the Turks in Cyprus, as well as fulfill its historical and contractual obligations … Our country stands up for the legitimate rights of the Turkish community of Cyprus, considering the significance of long-term peace and settlement on the island… If you want a settlement of the Cyprus problem, you must first of all recognize the right of sovereign equality for the Turks. Both communities must have equal international status. The future of the island should be equally determined by both communities. This is the only solution.”

Why is this remarkable? Turkey had no intention of withdrawing its troops from Cyprus before, and in 2020 it did everything to win the presidential elections in the TRNC of Ersin Tatar, who advocates for resolving the Cyprus conflict according to the formula “two states for two peoples” (previous president of the TRNC Mustafa Akıncı supported the unification of Cyprus and criticized Erdogan’s policies in the Middle East). However, in connection with the confrontation between the West and Russia, the statements of Turkish leaders regarding the Cyprus conflict should be taken somewhat differently.

No matter how Turkish propagandists portray Turkey as a strong and rapidly developing power capable of putting Americans and Europeans in their place, the reality is that Ankara is afraid to make sharp moves against Greece and Cyprus because of its economic weakness. It is this kind of Russia, and not Turkey, that since the end of February 2022 manages to fight with Ukraine, pumped up with NATO weapons, and withstand the frenzied sanctions pressure from the strongest economies in the world. That is why Ankara can only wait and prepare for hostilities with Greece, as possible US and European Union sanctions for the military operation will bring down the Turkish economy.

Unwittingly, Russia has rendered a huge service to Turkey by taking on itself the military (supplies of weapons to Ukraine and the participation of mercenaries) and economic (sanctions) blows from the West. The circumstances have developed in such a way that at this historical stage, both Moscow and Ankara, for their own reasons, are interested in the military and economic weakening of the United States, the European Union and Greece.

All this is directly related to the Cyprus conflict. Russia has relatively acceptable relations with Cyprus, especially against the background of other countries of the European Union. However, he is an ally of Greece, which is hostile to Russia, and cannot break with the US and Greek Euro-Atlanticists. Thus, the Cypriot Orthodox Church (as, indeed, the Greek Orthodox Church) recognized the Russophobic schismatics from the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. It is not surprising that the President of Cyprus Nikos Anastasiades in the May interview with FRANCE 24 declaredthat Russia in Ukraine uses “exactly the same arguments that Turkey used to invade Cyprus.”

Since now the leader of the Good Party is not in power in Ankara Meral Akshener, calling for more competent politicians to join the anti-Russian sanctions of the West, then Turkey’s persistence in resolving the Cyprus conflict is quite understandable. While Greece and Cyprus, and at the same time other Western countries will suffer economic losses from a break with Russia, the Turkish side will expand its influence on the Russian market. At the same time, despite the rejection of the special operation by the Turks, the hypothetical defeat of Ukraine will also play into their hands, since for this Russia will have to destroy a huge amount of NATO weapons and eliminate American and European mercenaries.

In the face of confrontation between the West and Russia, the Turkish leadership can only choose priorities. In the near future, Turkey is likely to carry out an operation against the Syrian Kurds, despite the protests of the United States, Russia and Iran. After that, Ankara can take a break from active hostilities. And there, you see, before the elections of 2023, it will probably carry out the “demilitarization” of the islands in the Aegean Sea and the “operation to protect the Muslims of Western Thrace”, especially if by this time the Greeks and other Europeans really feel the economic effect of the break with Russia “.

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