Cyprus—the Russian Angle

Creating a foundation to project power through the Mediterranean and into the Middle East by wrestling Cyprus out of Russian hands is the goal.

Sometimes a non-mainstream observer of the world scene comes up with real food for thought. Such was the case this week when British blogger Alexander Boot reflected on the actions of Russia and Germany in regard to the Cyprus situation.

Boot asks an obvious question, “The question is why the ECB and IMF, which is to say Germany, made this raid a precondition for the bailout of Cyprus? After all, they were more lenient when bailing out Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain. Why single out Cyprus for rough treatment?” (March 19).

Attending to his own question, Boot retorts, “The answer is obvious: Cyprus is a floating refuge and laundromat for dirty Russian money.”

But he then goes on to address the larger strategic question of why Russia is so enmeshed with Cyprus: “But it’s more than just about exerting influence on Cypriot politics—potentially the Russians hope to gain the elusive prize they’ve been pursuing since the late 16th century: a foothold on the Mediterranean.”

Then Alexander Boot points to the numerous strategic deals concluded both in secret and, where convenient, in the public eye between Russia and Germany: “The 1922 Rapallo Treaty, the 1926 Treaty of Berlin, the 1939 Non-Aggression Pact and Treaty of Friendship all had their secret protocols that left the rest of the world none the wiser.”

Boot then makes an intriguing observation: “The German raid on Russian money in Cyprus (to call a spade a spade) is ostensibly perceived in Russia as a direct attack. Putin immediately described it as ‘unfair, unprofessional and dangerous,’ but one can almost see his eyes light up.

Full article: Cyprus—the Russian Angle (The Trumpet)

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