mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Cyprus to Host Russian Air Force?

First there was an agreement over naval facilities. Now Cyprus may “facilitate” the Russian Air Force at its Andreas Papandreou Airbase. And that’s not all, reports the Famagusta Gazette:

[Defense Minister Photis Photiou] said moreover that the possibility of providing the airbase in Pafos, in certain cases, has been discussed during his recent visit to Moscow, both with his Russian counterpart and the Foreign Minister Lavrov.

Photiou also said that Cyprus and Russia have strong historic ties, and that relations will continue to deepen.

So far, this is mainly just talk. But both sides of the proposed deal get something out of it in terms of appearances. Cyprus gets to demonstrate its nominal independence from the Eurocrats who so recently brought them to heel, and Russia gets to show that it’s serious about projecting force in the Mediterranean, especially as Syria continues to degenerate.

As the Mayor of Chicago once said, “Never let a crisis go to waste.” With Europe and the US unable to shoot straight when it comes to foreign policy, an otherwise weakened Russia is asserting itself where it can at little to no cost to itself. Recall that it’s getting these concessions without having lifted a finger to help the Cypriots in the time of their utmost need.

Features Icon
show comments
  • bpuharic

    Be interesting to see how many Russian Cessnas they put in Cyprus.

  • Corlyss

    Syria better hope the Russian navy doesn’t show an interest in Cyprus. Some cold war strategists should be rolling over in their graves right about now. Thank EU shortsightedness for a result the Russians could never have achieved without it.

  • USNK2

    Russian air base on Cyprus makes perfect sense as long as Turkey is illegally occupying northern Cyprus, and probably related to whatever involvement Gazprom will have on Israeli-Cyprus offshore gas development, plus Cyprus’ recently announced LNG facility.

  • ljgude

    I’m reminded of Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations which makes a clear distinction between Eastern Orthodox countries which includes Greece and Cyprus and Serbia as cultural allies of Russia. In this view perhaps these are the natural satellites of the Russian Empire such as it is – not the Roman Catholic countries to the north which properly belong to the EU. Russia has its problems and its attempt to subjugate its traditional colonies since the time of the Czars in central Asia like Chechnya are meeting serious resistance. I think the Orthodox countries might eventually make a more happy accommodation to the Old Bear. And help the Russian empire reach long term goals like warm water ports and good business.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service