Cyprus between Russia and NATO
The Cyprus problem is a Russian problem as well. The current purblind negotiations, ostensibly between the two Cypriot communities (82% Greek and 18% Turkish), are strictly directed by NATO under the watchful eye of 40,000 Turkish occupation troops that hold 37% of Cyprus’s land and 54% of its shores. At every major juncture in Cyprus’ recent history, one finds an obsession with Russia by Britain and its successor in the Eastern Mediterranean (EM), America. The Russia factor featured strongly in 1878 and, of course, before. In that year, the Ottomans ceded Cyprus to Britain in exchange for the United Kingdom's military support to the Ottomans (read: Turkish) should Russia attempt to take possession of Ottoman territories in Asia. Here we see the people of Cyprus treated as a commodity and Turkey and Britain acting as traders treating Russia as collateral. With the start of WWI, Cyprus was put under British military occupation (1914-1925) and then became a colony of the British crown (1925-1960.) During WWI, when the Turks joined the losing side, Britain promised to cede Cyprus to Greece just as it did in 1864 with some Greek-populated islands. But Britain reneged on its promise perfidiously because of its obsession with keeping Russia in check in the EM. The Treaty of Lausanne of 1923 established the new Turkish state, which in turn formally recognized Britain's sovereignty over Cyprus (Article 20).
The British distrusted the Greeks because of favorable Greek sentiment towards Russia. Beyond the cultural links between Greeks and Russians, Russia deservedly earned the appreciation of the Greeks. In 1770, at Catherine the Great’s behest, the Orlov brothers attempted, although unsuccessfully, to free the Greeks from Turkish bondage. The Greek General Alexander Ypsilanti, who fought against Napoleon as an officer of the Russian Cavalry, led the Greek war of independence against the Turks. The Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ioannis Kapodistrias, was the first Governor of liberated Greece. The battle of Navarino of 1827, that saw the crushing of the Turkish navy, was initiated by Russia (with Rear-Admiral Lodewijk Heyden of the Imperial Russian Navy) and only then, so as not to be left out, did France and Britain (with philhellene Vice-Admiral Edward Codrington) joined the fray. This led to independence in 1829 for some Greek territory. Just after WWII, when the issue of Cyprus was raised again, the British toyed with the idea of ceding Cyprus to Greece. The project was stopped when the British (and Americans) cunningly brought up the imaginary danger of Greece falling under communism and ultimately siding with the Soviet Union (read: Russia). Of course, the Yalta agreement prevented such an eventuality (Greece went to the West by 90%) whilst the massive military support the British and Americans gave the anti-communists (many of whom were shadowy characters and collaborators) sealed the communists’ fate.
Here again, the legitimate ambitions of the Greeks of Cyprus were thwarted largely on account of the West’s obsession with stopping Russia.
Years later, after Cyprus was given fettered independence by the British in 1960, NATO accused Cyprus’ president of close relations with Cypriot “communists.” In response, NATO started to work tirelessly towards the dissolution of the Republic of Cyprus (RofCy) out of fear that Russia would use the “communists” as a wedge to gain entry into Cyprus. All of this was, of course, nonsense. So, the British set their sights on replacing the RofCy with a new amalgam to be run 50-50 by the 18% Turks and the 82% Greeks, thereby ushering in minority tyranny and government paralysis. This was meant to meet NATO’s two objectives in Cyprus: a.) to set up a regime that would be paralyzed by the Turkish minority’s vetoes so that the Greeks would never be able to side with fraternal Russia, and b.) to establish in Cyprus a second NATO (Turkish) presence in addition to Britain’s. The Americans want - in this order - Cyprus, Crete, and Greece as military staging posts against anyone that dares to refuse to succumb to the American line. In the last twenty years, NATO and co. have used the British military bases in Cyprus regularly to bomb a multitude of countries. Now, NATO is just a step away from meeting both objectives. The first objective has already been met in that the Greek nomenklatura of the last 8 years accepted the dissolution of the RofCy and its replacement by a 50-50 “Frankenstein state.” As regards the additional NATO military base on Cyprus, all guns are now trained on the already browbeaten Greek representatives. NATO remains optimistic. In this way, NATO hopes to seal Russia’s and Greece’s fate in Cyprus - but what has been agreed upon to date will still need to be put to referendum. If the plan goes through, the Greeks will be put on the path to emigration. Uncertainty will reign, conflict will rule, and violence and intimidation against the Greeks will probably be organized from Turkey. In the absence of a serious central government, mass colonization by Turkey will immediately follow, since any mechanisms of control will all but disappear.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova was right when she recently accused the West of persistent attempts to speed up negotiations and push for a solution at all costs. She warned of a repeat of the 2004 fiasco when the disastrous NATO-initiated Anan plan (masquerading as a UN plan) was massively rejected by the people of Cyprus and is blatantly supported by those in power now. The same sources continue to support the current NATO plan. Fortunately, there is a huge chasm separating some among the political elite of Cyprus and those who consider the people’s desire for a democratic rather than a NATO solution.
Incidentally, the current administration in Cyprus has repeatedly called on NATO to accept Cyprus in its ranks, forgetting that NATO’s primary objective is the encirclement of Russia.
Russia now needs to stand firm on the side of a democratic solution. Using its vast diplomatic weight, Russia can thwart the current NATO plan before it goes to referendum. A strong Russian position will give courage to the people of Cyprus. If the Greeks surrender, NATO will become the choreographer of Cyprus’ political life from now on. Since Greece is merely a sorry bystander, only Russia can save Cyprus. If the NATO plan for Cyprus succeeds, Russia will end up suffering geostrategic casualties and the Greeks of Cyprus will be left as collateral damage.