Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Russia Wants a Piece of the Action

Russia will likely interfere with any Cyprus unification efforts to ensure their interests in the eastern Mediterranean Sea:

What has been billed as the last chance for Greek and Turkish Cypriots to reunite the island nation appears to be tantalizingly within reach -- but it might not get there without a nod from Russia. ...

If reunification does finally take place, Russia will need to know how its interests will be protected. What it clearly doesn't want is for NATO to be strengthened and for Cyprus to join it -- a possibility after unification. If Moscow is not satisfied, it could undermine the deal both inside Cyprus and in the UN.

Russia has financial interests in divided Cyprus. Lots of Russians live there. And Russia has port rights on this island that nicely complements a base in Syria.

With Crimea newly conquered and built up, Russia has more ability to project power into the Mediterranean Sea.

With Assad secured for now in western Syria, Russia is able to build up their bases in Syria on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean.

If Russia can upgrade access in Cyprus to a base, Russia would gain both a shield for their Syrian bases and an advanced base to project power further west in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

So Russia will seek to secure their interests in Cyprus.

And as long as we're talking bases, to finish a line of supply from Crimea to Syria, I'd bet the Russians would love to eject NATO from Crete and have their own access to bases there at the mouth of the Aegean Sea.

So how's Greece feeling these days as full partner of Europe? On the bright side, Russia cozying up to Turkey makes NATO look better.