Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Breaking the Phalanx

Greece is playing footsie with the Russians. It could be leverage for negotiating debt issues with the European Union. Or it might make a lot of sense.

Thank goodness our relations with the world and our traditional allies has been restored since 2009:

On Tuesday, Greece's defense minister and outspoken "Eurosceptic" Panos Kammenos announced that he was invited to Moscow to meet his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoygu in the near future.

What's interesting here is that Greece is one of the 28 members of NATO , while Russia perceives NATO as its biggest threat .

Still, Russia appears to be courting Greece's defense minister. On Tuesday, Kammenos met with both the US and Russian ambassadors to Greece.

The article notes that late last year, a Syriza member of parliament called for Greece to leave NATO and their new prime minister has also expressed opposition to NATO membership.

So they aren't doing anything that surprising, really.

Germany may be trying to gain leverage, too, with this opening move:

Germany wants Greece's new left-wing government to go back on anti-austerity promises made in its first days in office and revert to economic policies its predecessors' agreed with international lenders, a document showed on Wednesday.

But with the Greeks already pre-pissed off at the Germans, will Syriza just shrug that off and look for common ground?

At some point, the Syriza-led government will notice that they could combine business with pleasure by exiting NATO, ditching their debts to the EU, sticking it to America and the Germans, gaining Russian money in exchange for letting Russia use NATO bases on Crete after kicking us out, and getting Russian military and diplomatic support from Russia against Turkey to exploit energy resources off of Cyprus for even more cash.

I mentioned the latter in this post from 2012 speculating about a Greek flip. Bonus: the link to the energy article there is still good!

And I still think Russia would like revenge for Egypt's big flip from the USSR to America during the Cold War, as well as a host of other hurts in their serious injury list since we won the Cold War.

So even if it doesn't make financial sense for Russia to make such a commitment, I bet the temptation to stick it to America and NATO (in their mind at least) will be too great to resist.