As Cyprus was in the throes of its own EU crisis almost two years ago, there was talk that Russia, despite opting to not bail the Cypriots out, might still secure a basing deal with the Mediterranean nation. Well, that talk has now apparently yielded a concrete result:
Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades announced that the country is ready to host Russian aviation and naval bases. The official agreement on military cooperation between the two nations is expected be signed on February 25, 2015, according to Lenta.ru.
It’s also quite likely that Greece will turn Moscow’s way should (as seems increasingly likely) its demands on the EU aren’t met. The West keeps telling itself how stupid and doomed Putin is, and Putin keeps making gains at Western expense.But while Russian power inside the EU is clearly on the rise, whether a cash-strapped Kremlin can keep new clients in Nicosia and Athens happy is another question. And it will also be interesting to see how Ankara will respond to the kind of geographical encirclement Turkey has spent 200 years trying to avoid.Nevertheless, there is no denying that Putin continues to outmaneuver his Western opponents.Update 2/9/2105 at 2:25 PM:It now looks like things may not be quite so set in stone as earlier reports indicated. According to the BBC:
Cyprus has denied Russian media reports that it is ready to lease two military bases to Russia.“There is no question of Russian air or naval military bases on the soil of Cyprus,” said Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides.
More on this as it develops.